DC Comics owner Warner Bros went through another round of layoffs this week. And while the focus was on the East Coast, as opposed to the recent West Coast Burbank culling, that has meant a number of DC Comics staffers have also been informed that they will no longer be working for the publisher. DC has already been through a swathe of senior figures being let go three months ago, and they are suffering the same again.
The announcement that Marie Javins was the new Editor-In-Chief of DC Comics went wide, set up and reported simultaneously at Deadline, Variety and Hollywood Reporter, indicating that Warner Corporate Communications was involved with the release. And that it was an attempted distraction, leading with a positively spun headline, in the knowledge that bad news would be leaking out shortly. And as a result, informed sources have told me that a number of DC Comics staffers were also been told that they are being laid off. Many people asked, with Marie Javins elevated to full EIC, what would happen to her former co-EIC, Michele Wells. This is the answer.
I understand that DC Comics has informed the following employees that their contract with DC Comics will be ending.
- Adam Philips, Director, Marketing Services at DC Comics, after 26 years working at the publisher, after being an editor at Welsh Publishing Group, and an editor of Consumer Electronics Monthly and Video Magazine
- Stuart Schreck, Sales Manager DC Comics, after 21 years at the publisher, after managing a comic book store in New York.
- Fletcher Chu-Fong, Events Director at DC Comics, after 18 years at the publisher, after working for both Marvel and Wizard.
- Sandy Yi – SVP, Global Franchise Management, over 9 years at DC/Warners after working at HBO, Funny Of Die and Comedy Central.
- Lissette Osterloh, VP Digital Marketing & Events, after over 7 years at DC Comics and over 13 years at Warner Bros Online, Warner Bros Marketing and Warner Bros Television before that
- Michele R Wells, co-Editor-In-Chief at DC Comics, Vice President and Executive Editor, DC Children's/Young Adult, after 4 years at the publisher, formerly Executive Editor at Disney, founding chair of the Brooklyn chapter of First Book and an editor at DK Publishing, and acquisition editor at McGraw-Hull and Penguin Random House.
- Alex Carr, Group Editor at DC Comics (Justice League titles), after 2 years at DC after working for Amazon UK and Amazon's Jet City Comics line.
However, no official statement has been made, and DC Comics is not returning e-mails on this matter. But I understand that there two others as well, totalling nine staffers. As before, what is notable is that, again, it is individuals with the most experience, the longest standing status at DC Comics, who are most likely to be made redundant, with DC losing centuries of combined experience and knowledge this year as a result. The first three in the list above have 65 years at DC between them.
Bleeding Cool previously reported the following redundancies at DC Comics three months ago. It was also no way close to complete.
- DC Comics Editor-In-Chief Bob Harras
- Executive Editor at DC Black Label, Mark Doyle
- Vice President, Global Publishing Initiatives & Digital Strategy Bobbie Chase
- DC Comics Editor Andy Khouri
- Senior Story Editor Brian Cunningham
- SVP Publishing Strategy & Support Services, Hank Kanalz
- Executive Assistant to Jim Lee, Eddy Choi
- International Publishing, Ad Sales & Custom Creative Studio, Sandy Resnick
- Marketing Director, Sara Haskell
- Director of Publicity (Publishing) Michael Shelling
- VP of Marketing & Creative Services Jonah Weiland
- VP, Comic Book Specialty & Newsstand Sales Jim Sokolowski
- Vice President of Creative Affairs Dan Evans III
- Dan DiDio, Publisher of DC Comics
- Mark Chiarello, SVP, DC Art & Design Director
- John Cunningham SVP DC Sales Trade Marketing.
- Eddie Scannell, VP DC Consumer Marketing
Again, there are only the ones that reached Bleeding Cool, there will be others who were not named. Here is the letter that DC Comics owner Warners CEO Jason Killar sent out:
This is a very painful email to write. And for a number of you reading this, I realize it will be even more painful to receive. For this, I am sorry.
In August, I first shared news about how we were going to meaningfully change the organizational structure of WarnerMedia (which entailed, among other items, simplifying how we organize our entertainment studios, elevating HBO Max, and consolidating our commercial activities into one organization). Many of you have patiently waited to hear how the reorganization would affect you personally, which is both uncomfortable and stressful. Reducing this period of uncertainty was one of the many reasons we pushed so hard to get through this work as quickly and as thoughtfully as possible, although it probably didn't feel fast enough. I want to thank you all for continuing to contribute your best, despite this challenging period and the additional pressure of everything else that has been going on in the world.
I've previously shared how critical it is for us to evolve how we operate in the context of best serving customers. As I mentioned a few months ago, this entails simplifying how we are organized, partnering with the very best storytellers, and leaning into world class product and technology as we share our stories directly with audiences across the globe. Our journey entails continuing to excel in our large, core businesses while at the same time investing in emerging businesses where we have the opportunity to meaningfully delight customers.
Today, we have arrived at a number of difficult decisions that are resulting in a smaller WarnerMedia team. This is a function of removing layers and the impact of consolidating previously separate organizations. Starting today in North America, we will be sharing which jobs are being eliminated and which roles have changed. We are continuing to review proposed changes in other countries across our non-US businesses, the timing of which will vary according to local regulatory requirements. Nothing about this is easy. But please know, these reductions are not in any way a reflection of the quality of the team members impacted, nor their work. It is simply a function of the changes I believe we must make in order to best serve customers. For those impacted, we will be offering severance and healthcare packages, in addition to professional services and team member assistance programs.
While I anticipate that organizationally, things will settle down materially in the weeks and months to come (we've worked hard to make this a process with a beginning, middle and an end), I don't want to suggest that our future is static. Rather, our future is about inventing ever better ways to move the world through story … which entails embracing change. I have every confidence in this world class team to do just that.
To our colleagues who are leaving, I wish there were words to lessen today's pain. Your contributions are a permanent part of this great company and today's news does not change that. I am extremely thankful for all that you have done for this team and this mission. I hope that at some point you will look back on all of it with immense pride.
Until then, please stay well and safe.
More news from DC Comics when we have it.