Warner Bros. creates DC Entertainment; Nelson to head

MUMBAI: Warner Bros. Entertainment Inc. (WBEI) has created DC Entertainment Inc., a new company founded to fully realize the power and value of the DC Comics brand and characters across all media and platforms. The new company will be run by Diane Nelson.

DC Entertainment, a separate division of WBEI, will be charged with strategically integrating the DC Comics business, brand and characters deeply into Warner Bros. Entertainment and all its content and distribution businesses. DC Entertainment, which will work with each of the Warner Bros. divisions, will also tap into the tremendous expertise the studio has in building and sustaining franchises and prioritize DC properties as key titles and growth drivers across all of the Studio, including feature films, television, interactive entertainment, direct-to-consumer platforms and consumer products. The DC Comics publishing business will remain the cornerstone of DC Entertainment, releasing approximately 90 comic books through its various imprints and 30 graphic novels a month and continuing to build on its creative leadership in the comic book industry.

In her new role, Nelson will report to Warner Bros. Pictures Group president Jeff Robinov, in order to best capitalize on DC Entertainment’s theatrical development and production activities and their importance to drive its overall business with each of the divisions of Warner Bros.

Nelson will continue to oversee the franchise management of the Harry Potter property, which she has done since 2000, and also continue to represent the studio’s interests with the author of the Harry Potter books, J.K. Rowling.

Nelson will segue from her post as Warner Premiere president but maintain oversight responsibilities of that division. An executive succession plan for Warner Premiere will be announced shortly.

Paul Levitz, who has served as president & publisher of DC Comics since 2002, will segue from that role to return to his roots as a writer for DC and become a contributing editor and overall consultant to DCE. This transition will take place as expeditiously as possible without disrupting DC’s business operations.

In his new role, Levitz will be called upon for his deep knowledge and more than three-decade history with DC Comics, both as a comic creator and an executive. Besides serving as a writer on a number of DC Comics titles, he will be a contributing editor and consultant to DC Entertainment on projects in various media. Additionally, he will consult as needed on the transition and integration of the DC Comics organization into DC Entertainment and will utilize his unique experience, knowledge and relationships with the comics industry’s creative community to help achieve DC Entertainment’s goal of maximizing the value of DC properties. Further, Levitz will advise DC Entertainment on creative and rights-holder relationships, in particular regarding the legacy relationships that have been a part of DC Comics for decades.

DC Comics and its super hero characters are truly touchstones of popular culture, and the formation of DC Entertainment is a major step in our company’s efforts to realize the full potential of this incredible wellspring of creative properties," said Warner Bros chairman and CEO Barry Meyer.

Diane knows our studio as a creative executive, a marketer and a senior manager, and this varied background will help her effectively and creatively integrate the DC brand and properties across all our businesses. We’re also thrilled that Paul will remain involved with DC and we’ll be able to tap his expertise to help us reach our goals for this new business," he added.

It’s no secret that DC has myriad rich and untapped possibilities from its deep library of iconic and lesser-known characters. While we’ve had great success in films and television, the formation of DC Entertainment will help us to bring more DC properties across additional platforms to fans around the world, while maintaining brand integrity and authenticity. Diane is a terrific choice to lead DC Entertainment, and with Paul in his new role as a valued consultant and contributing editor, both our company and comic fans win," added Warner Bros president & COO Alan Horn.

The founding of DC Entertainment fully recognizes our desire to provide both the DC properties and fans the type of content that is only possible through a concerted cross-company, multi-platform effort. DC Entertainment will help us to formally take the great working relationships between DC Comics and various Warner Bros. businesses to the next level in order to maximize every opportunity to bring DC’s unrivalled collection of titles and characters to life," said Nelson.

DC Comics will celebrate its 75th anniversary in 2010, at which time more explicit details regarding DC Entertainment’s corporate and management structure, film and content release slate, creative roster and business objectives will be unveiled at a multi-faceted anniversary celebration in the first quarter of the year.

Current DC properties in development and/or production at Warner Bros. Entertainment include: Human Target, Midnight Mass, Jonah Hex, The Losers, The Green Lantern, Lobo, Warner Premiere’s direct-to-platform DVD animated release of Green Lantern: First Flight amongst others.

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