Word just came out from ANN that Media Blasters, localizers of a wide variety of anime and manga, from the upcoming Sayonara Zetsubou Sensei to the classic GaoGaiGar to its wide array of adult materials under its Kitty Media Label, has laid off or furloughed 13 of its staff, which was fewer than 50 people prior to the layoff-- meaning at least 25% of its work force for the time being.
The layoffs come from the print, accounting, acquisitions, video production, and sales departments. In the interest of fairness, I should mention that one of those laid off was a friend of mine, though that isn't really coloring my concern for the company itself, which has operated relatively under the radar for a long time, but put out some really great series, such as Genshiken, Berserk, Iria: Zeiram the Animation, Fujoshi Rumi, and others, and for as long as I've been a fan. I really hope they continue to be able to do so-- though the fact that they're laying off and not shutting down will hopefully help make that a reality.
In the interest of fairness I should note that one of those laid off was a friend of mine, and no, I don't think I can ask for the gritty details! I do have an e-mail out to Media Blasters for further comment if they have any.
In any case, let's hold hands, sing Kumbaya, and pray that Sayonara Zetsubou Sensei comes out without a problem.