IDW Publishing has named Jerry Bennington as President, replacing Chris Ryall who recently exited the company to pursue new busness ventures. In addition, Jud Meyers has stepped into the role as Publisher and Rebekah Cahalin has been promoted to General Manager and Executive Vice President of Operations, covering both IDW Publishing and IDW Entertainment.
IDW is an award-winning publisher of comic books and is the publisher behind Locke and Key, which was adapted into a supernatural drama for Netflix executive produced by Carlton Cuse and Meredith Averill, who serve as co-showrunners.
“As IDW accelerates its growth trajectory as a fully integrated multi-media company, we are very fortunate to have Jerry Bennington and Jud Meyers to assume these key roles at IDW Publishing,” said Ezra Rosensaft, who was recently was promoted as IDW’s CEO. “We are equally as fortunate to have Rebekah Cahalin step into the GM and EVP of Operations positions. All three executives are already valued and vital members of the IDW team as well as inspiring leaders. I have no doubt that they will accomplish great things in their new positions.”
Bennington worked as IDW Publishing’s EVP of Product Management. In his new role he will oversee IDW Publishing’s strategic business units, integrating product cross-platform programs, establishing product growth initiatives with partners, broadening customer experiences to new platforms and expanding the company’s extensive IP portfolio. As EVP of Product Management, Bennington established new business units including IDW Limited and IDW Games, and he increased IDW Publishing’s stable of licensed IPs including the notable additions of Batman the Animated Series, Dragon Ball Z, Metal Gear Solid and Usagi Yojimbo. Prior to joining IDW Publishing, Bennington was the President of 3 Point Entertainment where he helped develop specialty licensed merchandise and served as the VP of Marketing for The Upper Deck Company’s Upper Deck Games.
“As a long-standing member of the IDW team, I am thankful for the opportunity to build on Chris Ryall’s work leading the company to product excellence and providing our readers with richer, deeper, and more meaningful experiences,” said Bennington. “Collaborating with our valued customers and partners around the globe, we will achieve unparalleled quality and memorable stories and characters to be shared by family and friends.”
Meyers pivots from his role as IDW Publishing’s Sales Director to Publisher and will oversee all aspects of production and publication in his new role as Publisher. Meyers started his career in the comic industry at Titan Publishing in London, England, where he helped launch and manage some of the most prestigious comic-book retail stores in the UK, including Forbidden Planet, Virgin Megastore and Meanwhile Comics. He was the co-founder of several L.A. comic book stores and was honored with the Will Eisner Spirit of Retailing Award. Meyers also served as the Director of Sales & Marketing at Humanoids Publishing where he helped launch three successful new book imprints and expanded the French publisher’s presence in the U.S. book market.
“I’m so grateful for the opportunity to step into this role and help continue IDW’s legacy of quality storytelling,” said Meyer. “We have a wealth of talented creators and a brilliant editorial and production staff helping to shape our stories. In the coming months, we’re going to add to our family, and we will continue to deliver the greatest licensed content in comics, expanding and shaping the global reach of all of our licensors and their brands.”
Cahalin joined IDW in 2009. As IDW’s current General Manager and Head of Operations, she achieved a series of increasingly important positions within the company’s production, digital production and digital publishing teams highlighted by her work as Digital Publishing Director. In her new position, Cahalin will oversee and integrate all operations and business activities.
“I am so excited to work not only with the IDW Publishing team, but also everyone at IDW Entertainment,” said Cahalin. “This new role provides a tremendous opportunity to enhance our operational infrastructure to further drive company objectives, and make this a truly holistic environment.”
During Ryall’s time at IDW Publishing, he signed a multi-year publishing initiative with the Smithsonian Institution, launched a major program to produce Spanish-language graphic novels for the North American market, transitioned its foreign book distribution business to Penguin Random House and led IDW Publishing to 15 prestigious Eisner Award nominations in 2020, the most of any publisher. He authored Zombies vs Robots in collaboration with artist Ashley Wood. The project is currently in development at Sony Pictures.
“I’ve been incredibly proud of the work the executive team and all of IDW has done in my time back with the company, and I wish them all the best with the exciting things the company has planned,” said Ryall, who was also served as Publisher and Chief Creative Officer. Ryall is launching a new storytelling venture focused on the disparate worlds and characters that he brought to life at IDW Publishing.
Along with Wood and many of the talented creators he has worked with at IDW, Ryall will continue to serve as Executive Producer on the Netflix series Locke & Key and remain the sole editor on any Locke & Key publishing ventures going forward.