Okay, now we know why there’s still unease over all outposts of the DC Entertainment empire today: In the first interview we’ve seen with DC head Diane Nelson, she explains that DC’s staff will be cut by 20%:
About 20% of DC’s roughly 250 staffers will lose their jobs as part of the shift, while some others will move to the West Coast from the East. In addition, certain new positions are being added in Burbank.
Ongoing uncertainty has played a role in DC’s slow ramp-up since Nelson took her job last year. At the time, Warner’s top executives said they were counting on the new DC team to help develop a slate of tentpole movies that could become crucial franchises for the studio after the “Harry Potter” series comes to an end next year.
However, although various projects have been discussed, nothing has been given a definite spot on the Warner schedule after next June’s “Green Lantern,” which was already in the works before Nelson took her job.
Apparently with all the changes finally in place, things are ready to move forward on all fronts. Expect a lot of personnel moves at DC to be announced over the next few weeks.
UPDATED: And more interviews with Nelson are hitting. CBR:
What we’ve actually announced today is a little more nuanced than that, as I know you know, but we’re doing this to protect the legacy of what made the New York DC Comics operation great in the past, which is, again, inclusive of but not limited to the culture of publishing in New York, the creative relationships with people who live and work here…but we also thought about factors like how and with whom do we want to be working more closely with in Los Angeles with our colleagues at Warner Bros. and how do we ensure, no matter where we ended up, that our publishing operation, which includes physical and digital now, is closely connected and integrated with the efforts that Geoff Johns is leading to take our stories and characters into other media. We want editorial to see what Geoff is doing and Geoff to see what they’re doing, which is what his role is all about. And it puts the onus on all of us to be present in both offices. We looked at factors like where our digital business will be going and where our colleagues in digital distribution at Warner Bros. are going – and again, as well as the existing operation here that works really well here in New York.
And Comics Alliance:
CA: The two DC Comics Co-Publishers, Dan DiDio and Jim Lee, are already based on the two separate coasts. Do you see this shift more clearly delineating their roles in terms of the two arms of DC?
DN: Dan, as he has for the past 9 months, has an emphasis on the book publishing portion of the business, and Jim has had an emphasis on where we go with digital publishing as well as a lot of other areas. So those emphases will continue, but we all feel a personal and collective responsibility to stay connected and work effectively together. Dan and Jim are Co-Publishers, so that means that they are separately and together responsible for our total publishing program. And that include both book [publishing] and digital.
“We’re trying to implement this really thoughtfully and with a lot of personal consideration, so we need to complete conversations with our own staff before we can talk some of the specifics,” Nelson said. “It’s a big, complicated realignment that we’re doing, and that’s why it’s hard to answer with the specificities.”
Takeaway: Ongoing interviews with EVERYONE of those 250 employees, which will take some time, and no real announcements until then. And, if we know our Warner Bros execs, probably no more announcements at all.
Rather surprisingly, Nelson won’t go on the record with closing the La Jolla office of WildStorm — although, we’re told, the lease is up in December so that might affect the plans.
Also, nothing on the fate of DC Direct.
Heidi MacDonald is the founder and editor in chief of The Beat. In the past, she worked for Disney, DC Comics, Fox and Publishers Weekly. She can be heard regularly on the More To Come Podcast. She likes coffee, cats and noble struggle.