Several reports this week, originating from Publishers Weekly
and then spreading to the usual sources, have been putting Viz Media in a gloomy light, raising some concerns over its future. The North American manga and anime publisher is said to have cut its staff by up to 60 people: up to 55 from its San Francisco headquarters, and all 5 employees from its now-closed New York branch. All in all, about 40% of the employees were laid off.
Viz issued a formal announcement
a couple of days ago, on Wednesday, confirming the staff cuts as part of a "process of refining its focus"
, but refrained from giving exact numbers. The departments affected by the layoffs included public relations, design, sales and marketing, according to some other reports yesterday.
Despite this serious restructuring, however, Viz Media let its fans know that they shouldn't go bungee-jumping off a bridge without a cord just yet:
"We wish to apologize to our wonderful fans if this news has caused you concern. Be assured VIZ Media remains committed in its obligations to you. We have no plans at this time for drastic measures such as product cancellations or business line closures. Your favorite series are not going away."
In other demoralizing news
this week, the North American manga publisher Go! Comi has let its website domain expire, as of May 8. The company's last manga volume was published back in October 2009, its online forums have been down since April, and the Go! Comi twitter is also gone by now. Which probably goes for the whole company; or it will, soon enough.