ICv2 has received confirmation that Diamond Comic Distributors has laid off 13 people at its headquarters in Timonium, Maryland, which represent just over 5% of the 240 people employed at Diamond HQ.  Diamond has also instituted pay cuts for some of the remaining staff. 


Diamond has instituted a number of other cost-cutting measures such as eliminating its Diamond Dialogue trade news magazine and Adult Previews (see “Trade Pub Roster Shrinking”), and raising the minimum order threshold (see “Diamond’s Increased Product Threshold”), but as many workers in many industries are finding out during the current full-blown recession, the most efficient way to cut costs is by eliminating positions.


Diamond’s V.P. of Purchasing Bill Schanes told the New York Times that 2008 sales were down about 4% from 2007, an even greater decrease than the 3% Diamond revealed to us in mid-December (see “Comic Stores Holding Up Really Well”). 


The publishing and entertainment industries are hardly immune from the current economic downturn.  Reed Business Information has announced 7% staff cuts across its publications, which include Variety (30 people), Video Business, and Trade Show Week. The most prominent casualty of the Reed cutbacks was Sara Nelson, the EIC of Publisher’s Weekly.  Starting in Q4 2008, layoffs among mainstream publishers have been widely reported and the job cutting in the comics world, which was first apparent in the overheated manga sector, has spread into mainstream comics publishing  as evidenced by DC’s actions last week, when the nation’s oldest comic book publisher laid off Senior Editor Bob Schreck and Subscriptions Manager Christine Sawicki, as well as Mad staffers made superfluous by the cancellation of two magazines and the reduction in frequency of the flagship.