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DC Entertainment Shake Up & More | DC Weekly

A very interesting week for DC as we now have all our scheduled CW heroes back on television including Supergirl, Arrow, Black Lightning and in it’s second week The Flash. Over on the DC Universe streaming app, we are wrapping up the first half of Young Justice: Outsiders and now wait for the arrival of the Doom Patrol next month. But this week we are going to focus on some bad news over at DC.

As first reported by The Hollywood Reporter, as part of an organization restructure of the DC Warner Bros. division, seven employees have been laid off of the 240 person workforce. Some of the names that have been let go are the senor vice president of sales trade marketing John Cunningham, vice president of consumer marketing Eddie Scannell and senior vice president art director Mark Chiarello. Early reports have rumored that DC publishers Dan DiDio and Jim Lee could have also been affected, but luckly they are still going to continue in their positions.

Along with these very unfortunate layoffs, the company has been re-organized into three distinctive areas, Editorial, which will continue to be overseen by editor-in-chief Bob Harras, Production & Manufacturing, which will continue to be overseen by vice president of manufacturing & operations Alison Gill. The third area is the newly created Publishing Support Services, this area will handle sales, marketing and promotion for DC product and will be overseen by Hank Kanalz who will serve as senior vice president of publishing strategy & support services. DC Collectibles will be moved over under Warner Bros. Consumer Products.

Although DC has declined to comment about the changes, the memo sent by Pam Lifford, who is the president of Warner Bros. Global Brands and Experiences, has been made available to the media and you can read it below:

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.

Pam

Changes have slowly been happening over at DC for a while now, ever since their move from New York to Burbank a few years ago. But a major shake-up started last year when Diane Nelson stepped down in June as president of DC Entertainment and Warner Bros. Consumer Products after 22 years of service. Then very soon after, Geoff Johns stepped down as president of DC and chief creative officer. Most of these changes have not been received well by longtime DC fans, especially the release of Chiarello who originated and oversaw titles such as Batman: Hush, Batman Black & White, Solo, Wednesday Comics, The New Frontier and Cover Run: The Art of Adam Hughes. Many have taken to social media to show their support to Chiarello.

But what has sparked all these moves over at DC? Well according to former DC artist Ethan Van Sciver, the Budget and eventual flop of Warner Bros. Pictures’ Justice League may be the cause for the company’s layoffs. He explains in a YouTube video where he says:
“Decisions were made to have Joss Whedon come in and finish the movie. Joss Whedon didn’t like what he saw, apparently, and asked for close to $300 million from what I’ve heard. If you have better information about this, let me known, but he basically asked for an enormous, almost equal to the original production budget to re-shoot and to finish Justice League. The Zack Snyder movie. [Whedon] made it into something else. The movie was a catastrophe. And it was an expensive catastrophe. It lost an awful lot of money.”

So the budget was pretty much doubled and in the end, it did not pay off. Instead of launching the DCEU it basically had the opposite effects and of course, someone had to be blamed for the situation.

“You have to imagine what spending close to $700 million on a movie and losing hundreds of millions of dollars on a movie can do to people, can do to their jobs. Shortly after, Diane [Nelson] took a break. Diane never came back. She announced she was staying gone. Geoff Johns, I think, also took some of the blame for the Justice League movie, and he lost his position there. Others at DC have who were involved with the Justice League movie also lost their jobs, lost their positions. The effects are still rippling.”

Van Sciver continued in his video to speculate that this is not the end of cuts over at DC. Especially when noting that DC has also cut its current titles down to 52. Soon we may also start hearing about talent leaving DC, which could include writers and artists. A direct opposite approach of what was happening at DC a few years back. These are very interesting times over at DC and we will have to to pay close attention to their moves going forward. It seems like Warner Bros. is willing to potentially lose quality in their books, which has been so good. I hope this is not the case as I am a huge fan of many of their titles.

In some more positive news, this week’s four episode mid-season finale release of Young Justice: Outsiders saw the debut of Victor Stone and his father Dr. Silas Stone. Victor Stone is voiced by Zeno Robinson and his father is voiced by Khary Payton, who also voices the now Aquaman (formerly Aqualad) and Black Lightning. Not to get too much into detail as it barely dropped today, we once again see Cyborg’s origin as well as his broken relationship with his father. Not much different than what we have seen in comics as well as other animated series. The highlight of these episodes is the cliff hanger that it leaves us on teasing a major classic story that may develop in the second half of the season. I won’t give any names of who is involved because it would give it away. Last, it was great to finally get some insight on where Violet’s powers originate from and look forward to see how those play out going forward. Overall it’s been a great third season so far and look forward to June, when the second half is supposed to be released.

Now let’s take a moment to take a look at my top DC comic books from this week. For more in-depth coverage on these titles and more be sure to listen to The Comic Source Podcast. Next week, we will be releasing our best of 2018 episode which is always a good time!

5. Justice League #16 written by Scott Snyder & James T. Tynion IV with artwork by Jim Cheung, Stephen Segovia, and Mike Morales
4. American Carnage #3 written by Bryan Edward Hill with artwork by Leandro Fernandez
3. Batman #63 written by Tom King with artwork by Mikel Janin
2. Naomi #1 written by David F. Walker & Brian Michael Bendis with artwork by Jamal Campbell
1. Freedom Fighters #2 written by Robert Venditti with artwork by Eddy Barrows

What are your thoughts on all these changes over at DC? Also, what have you thought of the first half of Young Justice: Outsiders? Let us know in the comment section below!

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