The Beat has confirmed that DC Comics was hit by a small but significant round of layoffs yesterday as part of a restructuring of the division within Warner Brothers Discovery. Popverse had an earlier report.
Among the moves announced at an all hands meetings yesterday, Alison Gill, Senior Vice President of Manufacturing & Operations, will be retiring later this year. As a 24 year veteran of the company, she probably knows more about printing comics than any one. An unsung hero of the industry, she’s earned her time off.
The main focus of yesterday’s meeting was the restructuring – although no details have leaked out on just what that entails. I’ve heard a few names of people whose jobs were eliminated, but haven’t confirmed them. However they all come from the business side. Editorial, which was already running a very lean operation, did not lose anyone. And DC will be hiring more people in the future.
Still, this will dredge up memories of past brutal downsizings at the publisher. DC was hit hard during the transition from ATT to WBD – starting in August 2020, when EIC Bob Harras and many others were let go. A second wave in November 2020 saw most of the sales department depart.
WBD has, of course, been seeing massive layoffs as the company seeks to find $3-4 billion in savings. HBO lost 14% of its workforce in August 2022. CNN got hit in November. And so on and so on. Earlier this year CFO Gunnar Wiedenfels said that it was time to stop slashing and start rebuilding, and things seemed to be perking up.
Although rumors of DC getting caught up in the general wave of WBD layoffs have been constant for the last 8 months, I was always told that they had already been cut so much they were probably going to be left out this time. And indeed, they had been spared up until now.
While I don’t know anything more about these latest layoffs than what I’ve reported above, there does seem to be a bit of a pattern in who was let go – people involved with the business end of things. Just guessing, but probably these function will be picked up by other WBD divisions.
DC seemed to be on a more chipper upswing of late, since James Gunn took over running the studio, and started actively promoting comics on his Twitter feed and everywhere. Anyone losing their job is sad, and this latest round won’t do morale any good, but hopefully it really is just part of a restructuring. But we’ll report more as we learn it.
[This story has been updated with more information on what was announced internally at DC yesterday.]