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fred pierce and wizard entertainment

October 5th, 2008 by Rick Marshall · 7 Comments ·

So, yeah, Wizard Entertainment head honcho Fred Pierce is now a former head honcho. And while it seems smart to shake things up at the sinking company, I can’t help but feel like this is an arrow that’s missed the mark.

To be honest, I didn’t have much of a problem with Pierce during my time with Wizard. Sure, he was technically in charge of overseeing the bulk of the company’s activities, but my experience suggested that the most criticized shenanigans going down at Wizard HQ occurred under the direction of people who are still on the Wizard payroll.

A lot of my former coworkers are dancing in the streets about the news of Pierce’s departure, but it’s worth noting that most of them weren’t exactly privy to the higher-level management goings-on at the company — so I’m not sure they have an accurate idea of which policies and/or mandates Pierce was responsible for and which ones they were simply told he was responsible for. Working on Wizard’s website put me in a unique position due to how new that element of the site was, and how their desire to keep staffing low essentially put me (and my department) in the role of being the through-point for anything with an online element. I attended quite a few meetings for upper-level and non-editorial discussions, and saw firsthand the way information filtered to the editorial staff through managers whose primary concern was preventing the mutiny of their very creative, yet exceptionally low-paid, poorly treated staff.

So, Wizard-watchers, what I’m trying to say here is, don’t expect much of a change for the better with Pierce’s departure. This move was likely more a result of cost-cutting than any decision to change the general editorial focus or direction of the company. In fact, if I were a betting man, I’d wager that you’re likely to see a more concentrated dose of the stuff you love to hate in the days to come.

But that’s just my opinion.

Oh, and just in case you want to read more of the online buzz, here are some links to check out:

  • Former WizardUniverse.com Online Managing Editor Sean T. Collins has posted a video reaction to the news.
  • Former Wizard Price Guide editor and current Marvel.com editor “Agent M” (a.k.a. Ryan Penagos) announced the news to the Twitterverse.
  • [Link Deleted Out Of Courtesy]
  • Former Anime Insider Magazine Editor and current Editor of Village Voice Media snark-fest ToplessRobot.com, Rob Bricken, is apparently in a dancing mood.
  • Tom Spurgeon at The Comics Reporter was the first industry journalist to break the news.
  • Newsarama commenters were surprisingly sympathetic about the news, while the Blog@ crew provides a pretty decent roundup of opinion.
  • Tags: general