Tom Spurgeon's Web site of comics news, reviews, interviews and commentary

August 14, 2006

Newsarama: Wizard Con Staffers Let Go

Newsarama is reporting that Stewart Morales, Wizard Conventions, Inc.'s Director/Strategic Planning and Marketing and Gabe Fieramosco, Wizard Conventions, Inc.'s Manager/Business Development, have been let go. I think Wizard Conventions, Inc., is a sister company to Wizard Entertainment, publisher of Wizard magazine, but it could be a division or something. Wizard employees were informed of the move Friday morning.

The move comes after a chaotic, rough 12-14 months for Wizard's Wizard World conventions, including but not limited to: an abortive attempt to start a New England version of the show, an abandoned attempt to start a show in Atlanta that wilted in the face of support for the same-weekend Heroes Con, denials of that attempt, announced attendance figures at this year's Philadelphia show very few at the show believed, getting snaked on a big New York show by Reed Exhibitions after Wizard had been circling the Big Apple with a hungry look in its eye for two-three years (they did work with Reed on show publicity), and, last Tuesday, announced Chicago attendance figures very few at the show believed and a subsequent refusal to discuss how those numbers were tabulated.

No plans have been announced for how the duties performed by Morales and Fieramosco would be fulfilled for the time being, or if the two would be replaced, or if replacements would likely be other staffers or outsiders brought into the company. Wizard's convention business faces some stiff challenges: a loss of momentum, some weird scheduling for 2007 (the Chicago show right on Comic-Con International's heels again; the Philadelphia show the same weekend as the feel-good hit of the circuit, Heroes Con), and the perception that convention organizers in San Diego, New York and Charlotte are doing a better job at making shows that sell out. On the other hand, there's nowhere to go but up, and with expectations as low as they are right now the day-to-day Wizard Con gig could be a career-making opportunity for the right person or people.

Newsarama does a fine job on reporting this move in the context of other Wizard staffing moves, so you should read their article.
posted 7:53 am PST | Permalink

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