Go west, young DC online department…and many more DC changes

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More and more ch-ch-changes at DC, as various folks in the online department have announced they are heading to the West Coast office as the DC Online department moves to Burbank next summer. Ron Perazza will become VP of Online for DC Entertainment, Dave McCullough will become Director of Online for DC Entertainment, and Kwanza Johnson is Digital Editor. Heading up the department, you may recall, is Hank Kanalz, Senior Vice President, Digital of DC Entertainment

These are the first announced westward personnel changes, although at least two DCU editors are also moving west to work more closely with CCO Geoff Johns.

More organizational changes have been announced this week. In a letter to DC talent, VP Terri Cunningham announced that the Editorial Administration department will now become the Talent Relations & Services department:

Dear Creative Contributor,
 
I wanted to take some time during this hectic holiday season to drop you all a quick note of good wishes and to let you know about a very significant and exciting new addition here at DC (one of many this year):  the new Talent Relations & Services department.  I also want you to know that the primary focus of this new department is YOU.
 
As you may know, I’ve run the DC’s Editorial Administration department for a number of years now and during that time my staff and I have acted as a support arm for both the Editors and our talent. We’ve built and maintained systems to keep track of the scheduling and workflow and to ensure quick and timely payments.  We’ve instituted and overseen policies and practices to make sure that our talent are fairly compensated and credited for their work in all its forms and mediums.  And we’ve worked hard to bring to you a host of other services for you that help set DC apart from our competitors.
 
Going forward that will be the goal and driving purpose behind the Talent Relations and Services department.  We will be your first point of contact for everything from rate questions to workload concerns to convention travel.  And we’ll be in regular contact with you to keep you fully informed on the goings on at DC.
 
You’ll recognize many of the people in the new department because you’ve worked with them as part of the Editorial Administration department.  We’ll be adding a few new faces shortly that will be your primary contacts; details will follow after the first of the year.    
 
Dan and Jim and our entire executive team join me in recognizing your value in everything that you contribute to DC.   It’s for that reason that we’ve created this new department to address your needs to look out for your bests interests and be a place for you to go when you have questions or concerns.
 
We are very excited to be working with you and hearing suggestions you may have on ways to improve your working relationship with us. 
 
Once again, warm wishes to you and your family for a happy and healthy holiday!


Although a few details of DC’s ongoing changes have leaked out, we’ve avoided reporting on them out of respect for all the difficult personal decisions being made. (And an exceptional veil of privacy has covered the proceedings.) However, everything is pretty much done now, if today’s tweets and Facebook status updates are any guide. To recap what seems to be known:

The art department has been reorganized under Mark Chiarello.
Production and manufacturing have been reorganized under Alison Gill.
Editorial, including Vertigo and MAD, have been reorganized under Bob Harras. The reprint department has been scaled back and we’ve heard some talk of major changes there.

Licensing and special projects are moving to Burbank, although little official word of how these departments will operate has been announced; smart money would guess that they will be more fully integrated into Warners’ existing infrastructure in these areas. Accounting and operational personnel in the New York office are being let go as those functions also move west. Finance will be run by new SVP Nairi Gardiner. Layoffs take effect at the end of the year.

Staying in New York, editorial, production, and Bob Wayne’s sales and marketing force, Talent Relations and Services. DC’s New York offices will be consolidated and some redecorating is expected.

That’s a lot of change. Now you know why it took so long. And thus the solemn looks we’ve seen on the faces of DC execs at various functions over the last few months.

If you are looking for a job, the Time Warner job site lists open positions:

In Burbank:
Associate Art Director, Digital
Creative Services Manager
Senior Secretary for the Creative Services department.
Senior Analyst, Financial Planning & Analysis for the DCE Finance & Administration
Manager, Financial Planning & Analysis
Director, Financial Planning & Analysis
Senior Vice President Publicity

And in New York:
Publishing Operations Analyst

This has obviously been a long and difficult process for all involved. And Diane Nelson’s DC Entertainment is pretty much a completely different company than Paul Levitz’s DC Comics.

Comments

  1. I’d like to take this time to announce my promotion as VP of My House. I will continue to report to my wife, CEO and Chairwoman of the board. The board consists of my dog and children.

    But, hey, VP title, amiright?

    Seriously, though, anyone interested in making an org chart for DC Ent? I’d be curious to see this all laid out, but I don’t have all the details to do it.

  2. Naveed says:

    I agree with KentL. There seem to be more VP’s and Exec’s than employees left at DC!

  3. otistfirefly says:

    This does not bode well. Diane Nelson REEKS of typical corporate bureaucrat who comes into a place and has to reorganize everything to meet his or her whims. See: dozens of VPs and “reorganized” departments that will no doubt operate SOOO much better with a different name. God help us DC fans… she shows her stripes with, I’m sure, a raging chubby every day for anything to do with that almighty buzz word “DIGITAL”. Screw anything prior to the 21st century. No more proud history on display. Oh sure, there will be the periodic bone thrown to us old-timers, but I’m SURE everything is DIGITAL DIGITAL DIGITAL.

    Yep, just my opinion. No, I do not work for DC and have never been in the offices. Just calling it the way it’s leaking out…

  4. Joe Shmoe says:

    Otistfirefly: You’re absolutely correct! But that’s the way of the world now, isn’t it? Digital IS the future. Paper comics are dying and everyone knows it. But since when did DC ever REALLY give a s— about their “proud history”? The company has been run for the last two decades by a bunch of dumb fanboys who think the eighties was the Golden Age and who have little but contempt for any of the comics published before then. So how is the future going to be any different? We’re still going to get the same lousy comics they’ve been giving us for the last thirty years; only now we’ll get them online instead of on paper!

  5. Brett says:

    Diane Nelson’s DC Entertainment is most certainly a different company than Paul Levitz’s DC Comics.

    But I got a lot of reading enjoyment from DC during the time Paul worked for the company.

    Twelve years ago, I bought the first Green Lantern ring from DC Direct and it was damaged. I wrote a letter to Paul Levitz not asking for a replacement but as a heads up to keep an eye on quality control in the future.

    Unexpectedly, he sent me a replacement and a personal letter. He didn’t have to, I never thought he would when I wrote the letter but he did and I never forgot the kindness.

    Diane Nelson’s DC Entertainment has some very big shoes to fill.

  6. The team that Diane Nelson has assembled is, by all accounts, a bunch of very intelligent, seasoned professionals. Let’s be grown-ups here.

  7. Thomas says:

    This is a good news for me, as someone whose never read actual comics by DC. Well, I’ve read a lot of Vertigo and WildStorm, but the actual DC super-comics and characters always seemed impenetrable and old-fashioned to me. If all these changes bring about accessibility and fresh ideas, cool beans. Change is good anyway, and it sounds like DC really needed this.

  8. KentL says:

    Sorry, Heidi. I’m sure my snark at the top didn’t help.

    I hope all of these promotions and reorgs make for a better DC Entertainment, but I’m cautiously optimistic. So far, I don’t see much change in the actual content, and I doubt I will. I’m with Thomas in that I’m eager to see a more accessible and fresh DC, but the only changes they’ve made so far don’t have a whole lot to do with why they aren’t selling that many comics these days. They’re focusing on digital distribution (which they should) and other media (which has me excited), but the comics lines themselves only seem to be getting cutbacks.

    If they don’t focus some energy there, I fear there won’t be a comic line. They need to reach out to younger readers, because the older readers are leaving.

  9. otistfirefly says:

    >>>The team that Diane Nelson has assembled is, by all accounts, a bunch of very intelligent, seasoned professionals. Let’s be grown-ups here.

    I have no doubt they’re all intelligent, seasoned professionals. However, the team again is being put together by the corporate/business playbook: come in, reorganize everything, hand out a slew of new titles and make the whole operation seem much prettier on paper. Ms. Nelson’s background is not publishing but marketing and promotions, and I doubt very seriously she gives a rat’s boohiney about the history of DC and its characters OTHER than it’s now her job to set things up to maximize profits by concentrating on 1) where the real money is, which translates to ‘let’s squeeze every possible marketable character from the DCU and get them into movies or television, and 2)make sure the company is all hip-happening and appears to be on the cutting edge of everything with all the rest of the cool kids, e.g., DIGITAL DIGITAL DIGITAL and the almighty important social media sites… gotta get that “T” and “F” icon all over everything.
    Comics? Not so much. Yeah, keep them going, do what you can (is it a coincidence that suddenly the directive seems to be STICK BATMAN OR A BATMAN FAMILY MEMBER INTO AS MANY BOOKS AS YOU POSSIBLY CAN GET AWAY WITH… GO AHEAD, LAUNCH 2 OR 3 A MONTH!) to maximize the income there. Of course, DC/WARNER is a business and they’re there to make money for the shareholders, not to give a crap about the fanboys that, say, Paul Levitz gave a crap about because he was one (and, GASP, actually worked as a creative in the industry). That’s all well and good… just saying it’s a shame to see DC fall to the corporate weasels instead of being run (at least somewhat) by people that gave a crap and had the power to do something with that crap. (GEOFF JOHNS, save us… you’re our only hope!)
    For me personally, again it makes me sad knowing DC history will pretty much mean nothing from now on. I loved the archives and such and the chances of getting any kind of decent flow of historical material is shrinking by the day. Sure, they’ll throw us the Kirby Omnibus bones occasionally, but there certainly seems to be NO DAMN plan (or interest, other than the GL omnibus type things that will… SURPRISE! be tied to a MOVIE basically) on organizing that area or placing any importance on it, new head honcho of the “department” or not.

  10. Thank you for useful information about the organizational changes and personnel changes. Chase was obvious that was a long and arduous process for everyone involved. And Diane Nelson, DC Entertainment pretty much a completely different company than Paul Levitz’s DC Comics.

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