Comics publisher IDW "hits reset" by laying off 39% of its staff and appointing a new CEO

·2-min read
 IDW logo
IDW logo

Comics publisher IDW has announced that it is undergoing a series of cost-cutting measures, including major staff layoffs, managerial changes, and removing itself from the New York Stock Exchange.

In total, 39% of the workforce at IDW Media Holdings, which covers entertainment as well as comics, will be laid off. It is hoped that these cuts will lead to $4.4 million in annual savings for the company.

The widespread changes include the appointment of a new CEO. Davidi Jonas, the son of IDW's chairman of the board, Howard Jonas, has replaced Allan Grafman in the role.

"Since re-joining the Company as Executive Chairman, I have taken a deep dive into the Company and have strong views on what is needed to put the Company’s best foot forward on the path of success," Jonas said in a press release. "The painful cuts we are making are unfortunately absolutely necessary. We need to ensure that the Company can survive and then grow."

He continued, "Today we hit reset. Today I take on the responsibility to those for whom I work and those whom I work with, the stockholders and my colleagues at IDW. I will work tirelessly to unlock value."

IDW was founded in 1999 and is generally recognized as the fifth-biggest US comics publisher in the direct sales market, behind Marvel, DC, Dark Horse, and Image. It's been home to breakout hits, such as Steve Niles and Ben Templesmith's 30 Days of Night and Joe Hill and Gabriel Rodríguez's Locke & Key. It also has a long track record of publishing licensed titles based on TV shows such as Star Trek, CSI and Doctor Who, films, such as the recent Dungeons & Dragons, and toys like Transformers and My Little Pony.

Some of the high profile executives who have departed the company include executive vice president and head of IDW Media's entertainment division Paul Davidson, head of publishing Nachie Marsham, and chief financial officer Brooke Feinstein.

It's currently unclear what this will mean for the various entertainment projects, all based on comics, that were announced to be in development last year with Ánima Studios, Cartoon Network Studios, HBO Max, Universal Content Productions, Universal International Studios and Warner Bros.