Following reports last week about Jen Contino leaving the Pulse, Rick Veitch, co-owner of Comicon.com along with Steve Conley, made a statement on the Comicon message board:

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.


1 COMMENT

  1. Re: technical issue with your rss feed.

    Hi Heidi, I just wanted to point out that only the first paragraph of any block quote on your site shows up in Google Reader formatted as a block quote. So anybody reading this in Reader would think that everything from “Since 1998, Comicon.com has had no problem…” forward is actually your statement, not a quote. The same thing also used to happen in your posts at your old site. Not a big deal, but could cause some confusion.

  2. This is really sad. Jen was one of the first people to interview us about SMASH, right at our launch. It’s incredibly difficult to get any kind of press when you’re unknown, and she will always deserve props from me for giving us that chance. I wish the best for Jen.

    And for The Pulse — here’s hoping for some kind of miraculous turn-around!

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