DC Comics has laid off about seven staff members — 3% of its 240 employees — as part of a structural reorganization that will result in a three-group system for the Warner Bros. division, Variety has confirmed.
Those who have left the company include senior VP of sales trade marketing John Cunningham, VP of consumer marketing Eddie Scannell, and senior VP art director Mark Chiarello. The reorganization is intended to focus DC back on its roots of publishing comics.
The three groups consist of Editorial, which will continue to be overseen by editor-in-chief Bob Harras; Production & Manufacturing under senior VP of manufacturing and operations Alison Gill; and the newly created Publishing Support Services, headed by Hank Kanalz as senior VP of publishing strategy & support services.
DC employees received a memo about the reorganization on Wednesday afternoon. The memo, written by Pam Lifford, the president of Warner Bros. Global Brands and Experiences, follows:
Today has been a challenging day. We have made organizational changes across DC that we believe will help to strengthen and evolve the division for future success. With these changes come difficult decisions which we take very seriously.
We recognize and appreciate that all of our employees have made considerable contributions to our business and that it is difficult to lose colleagues, many of whom have been here for a long time and have made an important impact on DC. We thank them for their hard work and dedication to DC. As always, we are committed to taking care of our employees and will be as thoughtful as possible with those who are impacted by these changes.
Together with Dan and Jim, and the executive team, we have spent time assessing DC’s business, as well as the comic book publishing landscape. DC is going back to its roots of delivering epic stories with our world-class characters, stories and brands. Being a premier house of storytelling will never go out of style and we intend to ultimately super-serve our existing fans, while providing new compelling content that engages and excites even more fans around the globe. Rest assured, the direct market will remain at the heart of our business – and will continue to be one of our greatest strengths.
The new streamlined structure is focused on creating, delivering and supporting a robust publishing operation that will allow DC to be nimble, navigate an industry in change, and thrive. As we communicated today, we are forming three distinct work streams – Editorial, Production & Manufacturing and Publishing Support Services.
• Editorial will continue to be run by Bob Harras, SVP & Editor-In-Chief, who will now also be responsible for new initiatives and global publishing, editorial scheduling, and art direction
• Production & Manufacturing will continue to be run by Alison Gill, SVP Manufacturing & Operations
• Publishing Support Services is a new business unit consisting of all departments that support the sales, marketing and promotion of our books, and this will be run by Hank Kanalz who is taking on additional responsibilities as SVP Publishing Strategy & Support Services As a result – DC Collectibles and its team will be part of the Consumer Products Toy team moving forward.
We recognize there are other groups across DC who are not fully dedicated to supporting the publishing business and, therefore, are not directly addressed in today’s news. As The Global Brands & Experiences structure continues to develop, I look forward to sharing more with you as that evolves.
Many of you will have questions and in the coming days you will receive more information from Bob, Alison and Hank about their teams. Together with Dan and Jim, I will be hosting Town Hall meetings Thursday on the individual floors to discuss these changes and provide more insight.
Thank you again for your support, hard work and loyalty to DC. Each of you are incredibly valued and I look forward to seeing you tomorrow afternoon where I will do my best to answer any questions.