Yes, we’ve had to let Jen go after years of excellent work on the Pulse. The problem isn’t with Jen but with the current ad market. Ever since the Great Recession hit, internet advertising has taken a nosedive. And it costs real money to get real talent like Jen’s.
Since 1998, Comicon.com has had no problem attracting and keeping enough advertisers to pay a full time reporter and the IP bills. (Steve and I have never taken pay for running things behind the scenes). Jen herself was a fantastic ad salesperson since she is so personable and knows everyone in comics. But starting about a year ago even she was having trouble finding advertisers. Steve Conley has also made major efforts to contact potential advertisers with only spotty luck.
On top of that we’ve had a problem getting paid by one of our previous advertisers for a rather large amount of money. The sad truth is, if this advertiser had been able to pay their bill, Jen would still be on the Pulse right now.
Steve and I want to thank Jen for the incredible job she did over the last 8 years. We’re proud of the way she kept the Pulse entertaining and independent. Her knowledge and love of the comics form came through every day while she spotlighted and interviewed folks from the whole spectrum of comics. And when things began to get thin she was a total trooper. Thanks, Jen! If anyone out there needs a solid reporter they couldn’t do better than Jen Contino.
As to what happens next, we’re not sure. On the tech side Steve has set us up with a sturdy and reasonably priced server situation, so Comicon is not going away. But how we’re going to provide the sort of daily news a site like Pulse promises is going to require some fresh planning on our part. As always, we welcome the input of Comicon.com.
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.