I've never met Pat personally or professionally and have no inside track as to his performance, dedication, personality, etc. All I have to judge him on is the quality of his book. Wizard.
Based on that, it's a good thing he was let go. To really be successful, they need to shake things up. A lot. And as the head editorial honcho, it's only been more of the same. More than a lot.
This leads to my major problem with the way Wizard does their business, which can only be controlled from the top down. Their fratty, LCD, super fanboy attitude they take with their stories doesn't lend itself to longterm readership retention. It appeals to the perpetual group of 13-year-olds who are just discovering comics. And in most cases I hear about, people stop buying the magazine a couple of years after that. They realize it's not all it's cracked up to be or whatever reason, but the readers tend to outgrow the magazine. I just can't imagine that's a good business model.
This year Wizard switched from a comic-sized book to a bigger page size and expanded their entertainent coverage. At the time it seemed like it was more of an advertising move to broaden their client base, and it still seems that way now. Why? Because the entertainment coverage they were putting out was the type of stuff you could get anywhere. If the top dogs want to spin Wizard more as an enterainment mag, it certainly seems McCallum was not the right guy to do it, based off the current coverage. Perhaps the switch to more non-comics entertainmetn coverage tries to address their readership retention problem, but it's just not working out. Maybe McCallum was great at getting Wizard from A to B, but with this switch in direction he clearly wasn't the right person to take the mag from B to C.
I considered applying there — I didn't think *that* hard about it, but I gave it a passing thought. It was a bit of the "What if..." and the "put your money where your mouth is" — but then I remembered that 1) It's in Congers (eeks!) and 2) some people there probably dont see me in a too favorable light and 3) I already have my own path in design.
Hopefully, Wizard sees McCallum's departure as an opportunity. An opportunity for real change, an opportunity to re-examine the big picture and an opportunity to simply make a better magazine.
Random thought: Why didn't they wait until Friday to fire him? They could've swept a lot of this under the weekend rug.