RebelForce Radio is reporting that there have been layoffs at Lucasfilm today. People in “licensing, marketing,
and publishing” have been hit. No numbers yet, but here’s a bit of independent verification:
Hatchet day at #Lucasfilm and #LucasLicensing. Bad news: I got laid off. Good news: I got laid off!Look out, world, here I come!
— Stacy Arnold-Strider (@batsnaps) April 16, 2013
We don’t know Arnold-Strider, but according to her Twitter bio she was a Product Development Manager. We’ll keep an eye out for any other details as they come.
UPDATE: LucasBooks’ editor Jenifer Heddle says there were no layoffs in publishing:
@clubjade No publishing layoffs.
— Jennifer Heddle (@jenheddle) April 17, 2013
10 Replies to “Report: More layoffs at Lucasfilm”
I suppose layoffs in licensing and marketing makes a certain amount of sense just because Disney probably has internal options. Publishing is a little surprising just because I’m not sure if they’ve really got an adult fiction arm. If this is a shift to bring it all in house, it could be pretty bad news for Del Rey and Dark Horse.
More than that I’m just hoping Jen Heddle and Pablo didn’t get swept up in this.
Well, there’s publishing at LFL, who work with/oversee the licensees, and then there’s the Del Rey (and Dark Horse) contracts, which are another matter entirely… And as I said when the LucasArts axe came down, are probably still making them money, because most of the cost comes down on the licensees as opposed to LFL.
(I know you know this Lane, just clarifying for anyone else who comes by.)
WILD SPECULATION, AS I AM NOT AN EXPERT: Could Disney take overseeing the contract work themselves? I suppose. But if they do plan to bring all that in-house – or rather, to their own companies – when the Del Rey/Dark Horse/etc. contracts are up in the next year or two, why lay off the LFL people now when they’ll just have to reorganize again later?
I wonder if the publishing layoffs had to do with TCW fallout (there were a LOT of TCW kiddie book tie-ins that are now perhaps canceled/redundant, but I don’t follow that end of things at all) and less to do with the folks who handle the stuff we cover, like Rinzler and Heddle.
But of course this is all guesswork – I have no real idea, and LFL isn’t clarifying anything yet. /SPECULATION
Publishing layoffs coming having to do with TCW related children’s stuff would make sense. It’d be easy to go all conspiracy theorist on this one, but there’s probably some redundancy in the existing publishing arm and what Disney resources are available.
But yeah, it’s hard to guess where those layoffs would be targeted when I really have no idea how big the publishing arm is and what specifically they’re working on.
Ugh. This week is just a big ol’ font of lousy news.
Disney does own an adult publishing house: Hyperion Books.
Indeed they do – but they’re out of the picture for SW until Del Rey’s contract is up.
According to Bloomberg and Business Insider, Disney is currently conducting an internal audit to “ensure that the Studios’ operational structure and economics align with the demands of the current marketplace”. Seems to me that these Lucasfilm layoffs are little more than a side-product of that process.
At the Business Insider, they have a neat little explanation for everything that’s going on right now:
“With Pixar, Lucasfilm and Marvel, more of Disney’s key product is being developed off the studio lot and with greater autonomy. This taxes the studio proper less than in the past, but pulls the focus to some of Disney’s greatest strengths: marketing and distribution, consumer products, and theme parks. You can expect these divisions to be bolstered in the coming months.”
Seems like a reasonable assumption: Less Disney, more distribution. Which is, in a sense, just a continuation of the traditional Disney policy: Don’t invent, adapt. In the past, they did it with fairy tales, now they’re doing it with comic book heroes and Jedi Knights.
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