It’s always terribly sad when you hear of people losing their jobs – even more so during this current pandemic. WarnerMedia has just announced Monday, 10 May, that it has laid off hundreds of workers with DC Comics being one of the hardest hit divisions.
According to Variety, about 800 staff will be lose their jobs, with 650 coming from Warner Brothers and another 175 from HBO. On the DC Comics side, based on multiple reports (The Hollywood Reporter, The Beat, ComicBook.com, BleedingCool, and others), Editor-in-Chief Bob Harras; DC Black Label Executive Editor Mark Doyle; Vice President of Global Publishing Initiatives & Digital Strategy Bobbie Chase; Senior Story Editor Brian Cunningham; and Senior Vice President of Publishing Services Hank Kanalz; were among those reported to have lost their jobs. Others impacted include Eddy Choi, Executive Assistant to Jim Lee; Sandy Resnick, International Publishing, Ad Sales & Custom Creative Studio; Sara Haskell, Marketing Director; Michael Shelling, Director of Publicity (Publishing); Jonah Weiland, Vice President of Marketing & Creative Services; and Jim Sokolowski, Vice President, Comic Book Specialty & Newsstand Sales.
Publisher Jim Lee was also demoted to Chief Creative Officer, with current Executive Editor of Global Publishing Initiatives & Digital Strategy at DC Comics Marie Javins and Vice President and Executive Editor, DC Children’s/Young Adult Michele Wells promoted and reporting to Lee.
It remains to be seen what this means for DC Comics and their comic book franchises. The comic book industry has certainly not been immune to the devastating impact the pandemic and shutdowns have had on the overall economy, there are some who certainly feel that the alarm bells have been ringing for a while now. Some reports have speculated that overall owner AT&T is sending signals that they are no longer interested in the comics DC puts out, and may even install a manager from the eSports world to head up the comics division.
It’s a truly difficult time for all impacted – they have our sympathies and we wish them all the very best of luck for their next steps.