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DC Entertainment shakeup continues with the exit of co-publisher Dan DiDio

DC Comics co-publishers Dan DiDio, holding the first issue of Action Comics, and Jim Lee in 2018
DC Comics co-publishers Dan DiDio, left, holding the first issue of Action Comics, also the first to feature Superman, and Jim Lee in 2018.
(Myung J. Chun / Los Angeles Times)

DC Entertainment’s longtime co-publisher Dan DiDio has left his job, in the latest significant change for the AT&T-owned comic book powerhouse, the company said Friday.

The company did not give a reason for DiDio’s departure, which comes 10 years after he was named to the position, nor did it say whether it was his decision or the company’s.

However, the move comes amid broader changes at DC Entertainment, known as the publishing home of characters including Batman, Superman and Wonder Woman.

The superhero comics are a key franchise for AT&T Inc., which bought DC and sister companies including movie studio Warner Bros. and Turner in 2018 as part of its acquisition of Time Warner Inc.

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The comic book publishing industry has been under pressure for years, and independent book sellers have struggled to stay in business amid competition for young audiences from YouTube and social media.

At the same time, AT&T is relying on the the comic book intellectual property to remain relevant. The famed caped characters represent a cornerstone of AT&T’s strategy to create hit TV shows and movies and to drive subscribers to its upcoming streaming service HBO Max.

DC went through a major restructuring in January 2019, in which several high-level executives were laid off. Since late 2018, DC Entertainment has been under the supervision of Pam Lifford, head of Warner Bros.’ Global Brands and Experiences unit.

Lifford oversees not only DC, but also the Burbank-based Warner Bros.'s studio’s toy licensing and theme park attractions businesses, as well as its global franchise management team.

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DiDio is the latest top executive to leave the company. In June 2018, DC Entertainment president Diane Nelson exited for unspecified reasons and later joined Jeffrey Katzenberg and Meg Whitman’s streaming service, Quibi. She left that job in November. Shortly after Nelson left DC, chief creative officer Geoff Johns also stepped down from his executive role.

DiDio, 60, has been co-publisher of DC, alongside Jim Lee, since 2010 and has been with the company for 18 years. Known as an old-school veteran of the comic book business, DiDio is credited with overseeing such initiatives as the New 52 revamp of its monthly superhero comic books in 2011. That was followed by another relaunch, known as DC Comics Rebirth, in 2016.

Before becoming co-publisher, DiDio served as senior vice president and executive editor, overseeing the editorial department for DC comic book titles. He joined DC in 2002.

DiDio was previously senior vice president of creative affairs for the computer animation company Mainframe Entertainment. He also worked in various TV industry positions, including at Capital Cities/ABC, where he was executive director of ABC Children’s Programming.


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