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Did DC Comics Give Dan DiDio an Extension?

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Odds are by now you’ve heard something of the firestorm surrounding DC Comics executive editor Dan DiDio.  If not, io9.com has a pretty fair round up.

Despite the apparent groundswell of support for ousting DiDio, there’s a rumor going around that DiDio’s contract has been extended.  I’ve been appraised of this by two industry figures who, while not current DC employees, usually have a pretty good idea what’s going on.  Further, one of the two is under the impression the extension was signed  at least one month ago, if not earlier.

It would not surprise me if this rumor is true.  The last time I wrote about the executive editor situation was a month ago, before the firestorm that started up with Chuck Dixon’s departure, and at the time it was my impression that DC was leaning towards renewing  DiDio’s contract for a year.  This also plays into the lack of public relations response from DC to the current mass protests.  DC isn’t exactly the most fan-friendly publisher in the world and if they’ve just extended a contract, it would be perfectly in character for them to ignore all protests, as opposed to having to defend someone who’s in the middle of a negotiation.

Should this be true, it would (theoretically) mean you can look forward to another year and a half of DiDio helming DC.  If something really blows up, the precedent you’d probably look to would be how former SVP of Sales & Marketing Stephanie Fierman finished her contract.  Something happened there (I’ve heard too many conflicting stories to have any degree of comfort saying what it was) and Fierman finished off her contract reporting directly to DC Publisher Paul Levitz and essentially not having much contact with the rest of the company.  If a new candidate emerges early or the apparent office situation worsens, figure DiDio will probably finish out his contract on some special projects.

Of course, the most interesting thing about this rumor would be that DC would extend the contract of that high-profile an executive and then not tell anybody about it.  Indeed, if this happened over a month ago and it never got out, you could almost say they were keeping it a secret.  When Marvel extends Joe Quesada’s contract, you hear about it and you don’t hear rumors of his ouster for a few months afterwards.  Could just be a different corporate culture, too.

But that’s the state of DiDio as I’m hearing it today.  It could all be erroneous information, but I’ve heard it twice from credible people and this is definitely making the rounds.  I’d also recommend you pop over to Lying in the Gutters on Monday (6/22/08) around noon PST.  Rich will have plenty to say on the subject and it sounds like he’s hearing different things than I am.

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