TOKYOPOP announced Tuesday that it has reorganized its North American business into two separate companies by spinning off its newly established comics-to-film and digital units into one new entity TOKYOPOP Media LLC.
As part of the spin-off and reorganization, 39 positions within the organization have been eliminated. The move will allow the company to align its publishing business with current book retail trends, as well as aggressively pursue growth in the white-hot comics-to-film and digital space.
According to Stuart Levy, CEO and Chief Creative Officer of the TOKYOPOP Group, “This reorganization is the right business move, but we are doing it with a heavy heart. It involves saying goodbye to 39 of the most talented, creative and compassionate people I've ever known. While it goes without saying, it's important to note that our restructure is not at all a negative reflection on them. The time is now for us to focus our publishing business to overcome current market challenges. Fewer releases will allow for less cannibalization at retail. At the same time, the opportunity is significant in the digital and comics-to-film space. As one of the largest comic book companies worldwide, we must adjust our overhead to properly execute this new business plan.”
Two key executive announcements accompanied the reorganization. Group President & COO John Parker has taken over the publishing reigns at TOKYOPOP Inc. with veteran Director of Marketing Marco Pavia being promoted to Associate Publisher. Current Publisher Mike Kiley has been promoted to the key senior executive role in TOKYOPOP Media, reporting to Levy, who will helm the new company.
John Parker explained, “After establishing our European operations, my next focus will be on increasing profitability by significantly reducing our annual output, focusing on the most successful continuing series, and most promising new titles. Marco will be instrumental in developing the upcoming line. These moves will show that, once again, TOKYOPOP is leading the evolution of the manga and graphic novel categories.”
Speaking about the growth opportunities for TOKYOPOP Media, Mike Kiley commented, “There has never been a time better for a graphic novel based creative studio such as ours. Over the past three years, we have produced more than 25,000 pages of original comics/manga material, making us the North American leader in production outside of Marvel and DC. With the relationships we have established in the past year, TOKYOPOP Media is ready to move quickly into the comics-to-film and digital markets.” Pointing to prominent successes in online video (www.youtube.com/tokyopoptv and www.myspace.com/tokyopop) and mobile, both Levy and Kiley are optimistic about the future. Levy added “Our goal is for TOKYOPOP Media to become one of the go-to production entities in Hollywood by building global entertainment franchises across media platforms.”
As part of the reorganization, TOKYOPOP's Japan entity will be separated into two units--one under TOKYOPOP Media and the other remaining the TOKYOPOP Group's holding entity. TOKYOPOP's European operations will not be affected.
Founded by multi-cultural media visionary Stuart Levy, TOKYOPOP is hailed as a leading youth-oriented entertainment brand and an innovator of manga creation, with a revolutionary artistic vision that transcends countless platforms. From the introduction of the first-ever extensive manga publishing program in North America, to the development of its manga-originated intellectual properties into film, television and digital entertainment, TOKYOPOP has changed the way teens experience pop culture. The company's global reach has expanded to Europe and Asia, with offices in the UK and Germany, in addition to its Los Angeles and Tokyo operations. With millions of fans logging onto the new social networking site www.TOKYOPOP.com, reading its books, which are licensed in 41 countries in more than 20 languages, and watching its DVDs and television programs, TOKYOPOP's award-winning catalogue of licensed and original properties has made the company a visionary in an ever-growing teen entertainment marketplace. Visit www.TOKYOPOP.com for additional information.