Wizard Magazine's Editor-in-Chief has been fired, according to industry insiders.
Multiple sources told CBR News Wednesday that Senior Vice-President/Editor-in-Chief Pat McCallum of Wizard Entertainment Group has been let go from the company.
According to a 2002 Scoop interview with Wizard Publisher and Founder Gareb Shamus, McCallum was a founding member of the magazine along with Shamus.
Wizard Magazine's Vice-President/Associate Publisher Robert Felton declined to comment Wednesday evening and said a formal announcement would come from the company on Thursday.
2006 has been a tumultuous year for Wizard Entertainment: A Newsarama story that ran shortly after the Wizard World Chicago convention this past August revealed two senior convention staffers had been fired -- Stewart Morales, another long-time company employee who was Director/Strategic Planning and Marketing for Wizard Conventions, Inc, as well as Gabe Fieramosco, Manager of Business Development for Wizard Conventions, Inc.
Although Wizard press releases throughout the year painted a more rosy picture of convention operations, numerous exhibitors contacted by CBR News Wednesday evening confirmed they believed attendance was down on the convention circuit, not up, and as a whole, the Wizard conventions had experienced a rather poor season.
The news of McCallum's firing follows word of dwindling sales figures for the magazine as well as the departure of employees who have left for positions at Marvel and DC Comics.
Updated 10:15 AM Pacific 11/30/2006 - Wizard issued the following press release Thursday morning.
Congers, NY (November 30, 2006) – Wizard Entertainment today announced several staffing changes, including the addition of several new hires to the publishing and Wizard World tour divisions. Recent additions to the company include; Marketing Director John Ko; General Manager Keith Patrick; General Manager for Dealer Relations Peter Katz; Programming Manager for Wizard Conventions Inc. Adam Dickstein; and Sales Account Executive Bart Sciarraba. Additionally, Wizard announced that Editor-in-Chief Pat McCallum and Wizard Entertainment have parted ways.
"In an effort to grow the company and evolve with our customers, Wizard has made a number of aggressive changes over the past nine months," said Fred Pierce, president and COO for Wizard Entertainment. "We have had a record year for both the publishing division and the Wizard World tours, and these staffing changes will ensure even greater success in 2007."
Throughout 2006, Wizard leadership has been making moves to strengthen the company. In March, toy industry veteran Jim Silver joined the company as Publisher, while Wizard's own Rob Felton was promoted to Vice President and Associate Publisher. In September, Wizard introduced a new format for its flagship publication, Wizard Magazine, growing it from comic book size to conventional magazine size. In October, the recently re-launched WizardUniverse.com welcomed a record 2 million visitors. Additionally, the annual Wizard World tour closed its tenth year in November with record-setting attendance and a continuously expanding variety of exhibitors, adding such partners as Spike TV, Video Games Live and International Fight League. 2007 looks to be another exceptional year, with several planned pop culture crossovers in Hollywood, comics and anime, and another action-packed Wizard World tour.