May 30th 2012 By: Graeme McMillan
Changes are afoot at Diamond Comic Distributors
, and they don't seem to reflect confidence in the company's digital efforts. Reports are emerging that three of Diamond's employees, all working on digital initiatives, have been laid off, leaving the future of the company's digital comics plan somewhat uncertain.
Bleeding Cool's Rich Johnson reported yesterday
that Diamond had laid off programmer Lev Schneider, Web Development Manager Jeff Dillon and Director of Digital Distribution Dave Bowen. While the company didn't respond to emails on the subject, the Beat's Todd Allen spoke to
Michael Murphy of iVerse -- Diamond's partner in the Diamond Digital program -- who appeared to partially confirm the rumors:
Everything is fine on our end, and things are moving forward positively with Diamond. I expect no delay in the project because of any layoffs.
Obviously I'm not a part of Diamond, so I can't speak to layoffs in any way, but on a personal level Dave Bowen is a friend and I wish him the best in his future endeavors.
The digital channel is fine and things are moving rapidly here.
Despite the comments about things, Murphy appears to not only confirm Bowen's departure but also potential upheaval on Diamond's end ("Everything is fine on our end," instead of "everything is fine, period" for example).
Diamond announced its Diamond Digital distribution service in February of this year, partnering with publishers such as IDW, Archie, Tokyopop and Top Shelf to allow direct market retailers to sell digital content on their sites through a specially-built storefront. It's worth noting that ComiXology already offered retailers the chance to do this, with exclusive content from DC and Marvel, among other publishers not available through Diamond's offerings.
Currently, neither Diamond's Digital site
nor Previews sit
e make any reference to changes at the company.