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DC Entertainment To Relocate or Lay Off 80 Employees, Over 30% of Staff

Rumors swirled earlier this week around the question of whether or not layoffs were going to be a part of the ongoing DC Entertainment reorganizations. The LA Times blog reported that 50 people, or 20% of the 250 people on DC Comics’s staff were to be laid off. Quick rebuttals were quickly issued by DC spokespeople to several sites that mentioned the 20% number, emphasizing that that number had not come from Diane Nelson, DC Entertainment President, rather than outright denying the layoffs. Meanwhile, in an interview with Comic Book Resources, Nelson confirmed that layoffs were coming.

Today, we found out why they were so hesitant to let a firm number like 20% stand. Bloomberg reports that DC Comics is going to be undergoing a reorganization from December 2010 to August 2011 that will affect 80 employees. That’s 32% of DC Comics staff, not 20%.The official word is that the reorganization “includes promotions, relocations and layoffs, and beyond,” and that’s as close as we’re getting to specifics. Relocations and promotions being specifically mentioned is good — that means that some people will have to move to the west coast or take up new responsibilities as part of their promotions. Despite that, there are still layoffs due, which is sure to lead to a feeling of unease, if not outright dread, at DC Comics over the next year. Adjusting the positions of almost a third of a company’s staff is a huge deal, and hints at even larger changes in the structure of DC Comics to come.

The question of where the layoffs and relocations will hit is a tough one. All we have at this moment is conjecture and educated guesses. Although there have been questions about the fate of DC Direct, including one in an interview between Nelson and ComicsAlliance Editor-in-Chief Laura Hudson:

CA: I was also curious about DC Direct; how will the restructuring affect that side of the business?

DN: As with all the specifics, I can’t really get into that.

In that interview, and the one with DC co-publishers Dan Didio and Jim Lee, everyone was very eager to discuss Wildstorm, Zuda, Vertigo, and DC Comics, whether in the context of past glories or the place of those imprints in the greater DC Entertainment machine, but DC Direct received no comment, as did DC Digital, which is headed for Burbank. Stay tuned for more details as they emerge.

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