IDW loses millions; CEO steps down after only seven months on the job

IDW Media Holdings CEO Kerry McCluggage is stepping down after assuming the position in July 2018. McCluggage will be replaced by IDW’s chairman and largest stockholder, Howard Jonas.

This action comes as the company’s 2018 annual report shows a $36 million loss, including a loss of $28.8 million in its fiscal Q4 alone, according to a breakdown by ICv2. The primary losses came from the entertainment divisions – including both publishing and TV programming – which together lost $21.8 million.

ICv2 went on to specify that IDW’s publishing division lost $3.4 million for the 2018 fiscal year, continuing its year-on-year decline since fiscal year 2016. IDW continues to indirectly blame Marvel and DC Comics for their own publishing sales decline, as the 2018 report cites “industry cyclical downward pressure driven by market leaders.” In layman’s terms, that means people aren’t coming into comic shops for the “big two’s” offerings, so smaller publishers like IDW are also losing customers.

The remaining losses come from the company’s brochure distribution and advertising division and nearly $10 million in income taxes, bringing the grand total of loss to $36 million.

This downturn comes at a turbulent time for IDW. The publishing side of the company has undergone its own leadership shakeups following a set of public several relations disasters in 2018, the most notable being IDW’s mismanagement of Hasbro’s G.I. Joe license. Even deals for other high-profile licenses including Sonic the Hedgehog and an all-ages line featuring Marvel characters hasn’t been enough to buoy the struggling comic book publisher. Given that Marvel and DC continue to struggle, and with more comic book shops closing every month, it may not be long before IDW becomes DOA.

Sources: ICv2, Bounding into Comics

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