Posted by Tom 5 years ago -
Looks like even VIZ Media is not immune from the economic conditions that many U.S. manga publishers are facing now. According to the ICV2 report, VIZ is in the midst of restructuring their business:<br />
VIZ Media CEO Hidemi Fukuhara has issued the following statement: "Viz Media is in the process of refining its focus and is restructuring to adjust to changing industry and financial market realities. Viz feels confident that with these changes, the company will be more streamlined to face the current economic climate."<br />
While several sources have reported this news, there's been no other official details released so far. So it's unclear how many staff members were affected by layoffs and which, if any, divisions were affected by the restructuring.<br />
There was recently chatter surrounding the recent departure of former Shonen Jump Editor-in-Chief Marc Weidenbaum and whether his decision to leave the company had effectively put their original comics program in jeopardy. It's too early to see these two events will mean for VIZ and their various divisions.<br />
However, it should be noted that VIZ's manga titles, especially top series like Naruto, Bleach and Vampire Knight enjoyed consistently strong sales in 2008. VIZ has a lot going for them on the plus side of the balance sheet, so it'd be a real stretch of the imagination to think that there is any risk of VIZ closing up shop based on this news. It just goes to show that the dire market conditions that the industry pros just described at New York Comic-Con 2009 were not just hyperbole -- Things are tight all over, and it's no different in the manga business.