Tokyopop Forms New Media Spin-Off, Halves Publishing
Leading North American manga publisher Tokyopop announced today that it will be creating a new company, Tokyopop Media LLC, to manage its comics-to-film and digital media projects, while also cutting production in its print department by nearly 50 percent.
According to iCv2:
Publishing production will be reduced by roughly 50% through the rest of the year, reducing output to roughly 200-225 titles per year from a planned total of over 500 titles. Tokyopop CEO and Chief Creative Officer of the Tokyopop Group, Stuart Levy, explained the reasons for the reduction in output. “The time is now for us to focus our publishing business to overcome current market challenges. Few releases will allow for less cannibalization at retail.”
The company is reducing its workforce by 39 positions in connection with the changes. "We must adjust our overhead to properly execute this new business plan," Levy said. "We are doing it with a heavy heart," he continued. "It involves saying goodbye to 39 of the most talented, creative and compassionate people I’ve ever known."
Regular readers of Publishers Weekly comics blog The Beat were privy to some recent foreshadowing of the move, courtesy of Heidi MacDonald, but the official announcement provides a lot of food for thought regarding the state of the industry.
Tokyopop has also come under a significant amount of fire recently regarding its Pilot Program contracts, which you can also read about at length over at The Beat.
Hard times, indeed.