Citing “restructuring to adjust to changing industry and financial market realities” as the cause, Viz Media have laid off 40% of their work force, according to a report at Publishers Weekly.
The restructuring efforts were felt throughout the company and also resulted in the closure of Viz’s New York branch, which consisted of 5 employees. Around 60 employees were laid off in total. This number represents approximately 40% of Viz’s entire work force.
A company representative stated that while Viz were, of course, saddened by the restructuring, they “feel confident that with these changes, Viz Media will be more streamlined and able to withstand the climate of the economy at this time.”
The “financial market realities” cited refer to the overall decline of the manga market in 2009 by about 20% over the previous year. Viz aren’t the only company forced to initiate a restructuring; previously, Tokyopop, too, laid off 35% of their work force in order to deal with the decline.
The one consolation in this case, however, is that Viz will not be making any product cancellations the way Tokyopop did. The following message was posted on the publisher’s blog:
We have no plans at this time for drastic measures such as product cancellations or business line closures. Your favorite series are not going away.