Just days after appearing in a New York Times story about the growth of the webcomics market, Tapas Media has been hit with significant layoffs as the company prepares for what is being characterized as a “pivot” towards an as-yet-unofficial direction, Popverse can confirm.Creators were informed of the changes earlier Thursday, with multiple sources describing the announcement as unexpected. Control of operations will be moved away from the US, with the company moving more firmly under the control of Kakao Entertainment, a Korean company which purchased the company in May 2021. At the same time, Kakoa also purchased mobile fiction platform Radish; the two companies were just announced to be merged into one sole entity along with another recent Kakoa purchase, Asian mobile fiction platform Wuxiaworld, as part of Kakoa’s consolidation. At time of writing, it’s unknown how deep the layoffs actually are, although sources are suggesting the US executive team will be significantly reduced, if not entirely removed, as a result. Similarly, it’s believed that Tapas’ publishing plans will be significantly impacted by the pivot, with the company moving from professional creators towards a greater emphasis on user-generated content. Thursday’s layoffs come in the wake of a significant round of high profile hires in 2021, including a trio of DC veterans: former DC VP and executive editor Michele Wells was named as Tapas Media’s chief creative officer, former executive editor Jamie S. Rich as editor-in-chief, and former group editor Alex Carr as senior director of publisher relations. Rich had departed the company in May to become an executive editorial director at IDW Publishing; whether Wells or Carr remain with the company remains unclear.
As of press time, Tapas remains announced to attend Emerald City Comic Con - with a booth, panels, and more.Expect more on Popverse about this story as it develops.