IDW Media will lay off 39% of its staff and delist from the New York Stock Exchange in what the company called "cost-cutting measures" taken in "response to operational challenges."
Among the staff affected by layoffs are the entire marketing and PR departments and half of the editorial department, including publisher Nachie Marsham, who has served in the role since September 2020. In all, 28 employees are being let go and IDW has budgeted $900,000 to cover severance costs.
IDW has also announced several changes to senior management in light of the staff reduction and NYSE delisting. CEO Allan Grafman will be replaced by Davidi Jonas, who most recently served as IDW's chief strategy officer, and is the son of IDW chairman Howard Jonas. Grafman had served as CEO since August 2022. Additionally, CFO Brooke Feinstein has been let go, and Amber Huerta, previously senior v-p of people and organizational development, has been promoted to COO.
IDW operates in two groups—its publishing division, which publishes comic books and graphic novels and includes the Top Shelf imprint, and its entertainment division, which produces and distributes multimedia content based on the publishing group’s original book content. In the fiscal year ended October 31, 2022, the company posted sales of $36.1million, an 11% increase over fiscal 2021, and its net loss shrunk to $700,000, from $5.4 million in fiscal 2021. The publishing division generates the majority of the company's revenue, with sales of $25.8 million in fiscal 2022 compared to $10.3 million for the entertainment group.
In announcing last year’s financial results, Howard Jonas said that the focus in fiscal 2023 would be leveraging the combined strengths of IDW's publishing and entertainment groups to produce content for a variety of media platforms. That did not happen in the first quarter ended January 31, however. The entertainment group recorded no revenue in the quarter compared to $4.3 million in the first quarter of fiscal 2022, which included revenue from the delivery of Locke & Key season 2 to Netflix. Sales in the publishing division decreased to $6.6 million from $7.5 million a year ago. With the sales decline, IDW had a quarterly loss of $2 million compared to a $2 million profit a year ago.
Howard Jonas acknowledged in comments tied to the release of its first quarter results that generating revenue from the sale of programs and other digital content is unpredictable, adding that “within any given year, there will need to be a few productions put in place in order to break through to profitability.” He noted that IDW has some properties optioned with Hollywood partners, adding that "moving more properties to greenlit status remains a key focus."
This story has been updated with further information.