Robot 6

DC Entertainment plans to move or fire 80 employees amid restructuring

DC Entertainment

As many as 80 employees will be fired or relocated in the restructuring of DC Entertainment that will see part of the company’s operations move from New York City to Burbank, Calif., according to a notice filed Wednesday with the New York State Department of Labor and reported by Bloomberg.

That amounts to nearly a third of DC’s estimated 250 employees. The filing doesn’t specify how many of those positions will be firings, and how many will be moved cross-country. The Los Angeles Times reported earlier this week that about 20 percent of the company’s staff “will lose their jobs as part of the shift,” a statement challenged by DC.

A Warner Bros. spokesman wouldn’t comment to Bloomberg on the specifics of the layoffs.

Announced on Tuesday, the reorganization leaves DC’s comics-publishing division in New York City while relocating the company’s administrative and digital and multimedia operations — including, presumably, the WildStorm offices now based in La Jolla, Calif. — to a Warner Bros.-managed property in Burbank. It was subsequently revealed that the WildStorm and Zuda imprints will close as part of the shakeup.

The labor department filing states that layoffs will begin on Dec. 27, and continue through Aug. 27, 2011, presumably the date when the move is expected to be complete.

DC executives are in the process of meeting individually with staff members to discuss their positions. “… There’s a spectrum of things that are happening for various employees – there are promotions, there are offers of relocation and unfortunately there are some layoffs to come,” DC Entertainment President Diane Nelson told Comic Book Resources on Tuesday. “Until that’s all sorted and people have had time to consider their individual opportunities and we confirm all that, which will take us a few weeks, we aren’t going to be able to discuss specifics.”

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14 Comments

Diane Nelson is DCs Kryptonite.

So they challenged the 20 percent figure because it was LOWER than the actual number? That’s wacky.

We don’t yet know if the 20 percent figure was lower than the actual number or not. At this point, it’s unclear if DC is moving 70 people and laying off 10, moving 6 and laying off 74 or whatever.

Chad, this 80-person/one-third of the company figure includes both layoffs AND people who’d be moving from NY to CA. Who knows for sure, but no, 20% is probably going to be HIGHER than the actual number of layoffs, since it sounds like a considerable number of people would be moving rather than being laid off.

Sean- I’m reading the same articles you are and I don’t see anything in there that states one way or the otherthat 20% (50 people) is going to be higher than the actuality, whatever it ends up being. I know our job as pundits is to look at all the data and make up the most-likely scenario, but if 80 positions are moving or eliminated, it looks very realistic to me to have 50 of those be layoffs and 30 be expensive cross-country moves. Doesn’t it? What leads you to believe otherwise?

They don’t actually know what the final numbers will be, because with relocation, all they can do is offer. If the person they want to relocate says no, then that might mean a layoff, it might mean a negotiation, it might mean someone else gets an offer to relocate, it might mean a new hire at the other end…

These are people, not Legos. They can know that 80 positions are going to either move or be eliminated, but they won’t know what the split is until they work it out with the people in those positions.

kdb

I feel bad for anyone losing their job in this economy, and I gotta say, the way this is being drawn out just sounds miserable for DC employees. Just rip off the Band-Aid already.

Chris, I’m pretty much just guessing about any of this stuff. My guess comes from the sheer number of departments slated to be moved; from what I’m hearing about which of the remaining departments are supposedly in relatively safe shape; and (depending on whether you count people given the choice to move but who decline among the job losses, versus just counting out-and-out no-choice layoffs) the state of the economy meaning that more people than normal will choose to make the expensive move cross-country as long as it means keeping a job in an industry that’s this hard to get a job in. Also, I don’t “believe” it’ll be lower than 20% so much as HOPE it’ll be lower, and think it might be. Also also, I was mostly just correcting Chad in his perception that DC was objecting to the 20% figure because it’s too low, using the one-third figure above as his source for that perception. In short, you’re right, it’s entirely possible that there will be more layoffs than moves, especially given what I’m led to understand about the stopgap nature of a lot of DC’s employees right now, but my first instinct was in the opposite direction for the reasons I just mentioned.

figures that some dc employess sadly would wind up having to look for other work always happens with some restructuring. though the 20 percent may not be the final number. by the time all the details and all the contracts and sadly terminations paper work is filled out.

Hi Kurt (if you are still here),
Have they talked to you about the future of Astro City yet? Dark Age was great! I can’t wait to see what you do with it next!

Werehawk —

Thanks for the kind words. Coming from one of the Futurians, it means even more!

As for your question, I discuss it in my blog —

http://busiek.com/site/2010/09/astro_city_future.php

— but the short answer is: “They’re currently figuring out who has jobs and who’s moving and that sort of thing. Everyone I’d talk to about ASTRO CITY is deal with important, pressing stuff about people’s livelihoods. I’ll keep ’til later.”

kdb

They challenged the number because no number was actually given.

OMG – reading this and in my mind all I see is the Clooney movie “Up in the Air” and how it would really suck to have to call in those people, interview them one by one with all the uncertainty and fear in the air.

Brrrr!

I hope that everybody finds themselves better off, no matter what happens and what they decide when everything is all said and done.

Actually, it kinda calls to mind the situation at the beginning of American Beauty where the employees are asked to basically justify keeping their jobs.

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