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WB announces DC Entertainment

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Warner Bros. Creates DC Entertainment

Diane Nelson to Serve as President, DC Entertainment

Paul Levitz to Segue from President & Publisher of DC Comics to Writer, Contributing Editor and Overall Consultant to DC Entertainment

BURBANK, Calif.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--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, to be run by Diane Nelson, it was announced today by Barry Meyer, Chairman & CEO, and Alan Horn, President & COO, Warner Bros.

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 Jeff Robinov, President, Warner Bros. Pictures Group, in order to best capitalize on DC Entertainments theatrical development and production activities and their importance to drive its overall business with each of the divisions of Warner Bros.

Nelson will bring her expertise and more than 20 years experience in creative brand management, strategic marketing and content development and production to ensuring DC Entertainments dual mission of marshalling Warner Bros. resources to maximize the potential of the DC brand while remaining respectful of and collaborative with creators, talent, fans and source material. Additionally, 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 President, Warner Premiere 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 DCs 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 industrys creative community to help achieve DC Entertainments 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.

Widely recognized and respected for his support of writers, artists and creators in the comics industry, Levitz is best known creatively for his work with DC Comics, having written most of the classic DC characters, including Batman, Wonder Woman and the Superman newspaper strip. At Comicon International in 2008, Levitz was awarded the Bob Clampett Humanitarian Award as part of the Will Eisner Comic Industry Awards, the only industry executive ever so honored.

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 companys efforts to realize the full potential of this incredible wellspring of creative properties, said 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. Were also thrilled that Paul will remain involved with DC and well be able to tap his expertise to help us reach our goals for this new business.

Its no secret that DC has myriad rich and untapped possibilities from its deep library of iconic and lesser-known characters, said Horn. While weve 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.

Based on the great success weve had working with DC Comics to create some of the most popular and successful super hero films of all time, Ive long believed that there was much more we could do across all of Warner Bros. businesses with this great body of characters and stories, said Robinov. The prioritization of DC and the creation of DC Entertainment is a great opportunity that reaches far beyond the film group. There are endless creative possibilities to build upon the many significant successes already achieved by my colleagues Kevin Tsujihara and the Home Entertainment Group in the videogame, home video and direct-to-platform arenas and Bruce Rosenblum and the Television Group in live-action, animated and digital series. Collectively, we have the ability to grow a body of properties highlighting the iconic characters and the diversity of the creative output of DC Comics.

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, said Nelson. 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 DCs unrivalled collection of titles and characters to life.

After so many roles at DC, its exciting to look forward to focusing on my writing and being able to remain a part of the company I love as it grows into its next stage, said Levitz. Its a new golden age for comics and DCs great characters, and I hope my new position will allow me to contribute to that magic time.

DC Comics will celebrate its 75th anniversary in 2010 (NEW FUN COMICS #1, the first DC comic, began publishing in 1935), at which time more explicit details regarding DC Entertainments corporate and management structure, film and content release slate, creative roster and business objectives will be unveiled at a multi-faceted anniversary celebration and press conference in the first quarter of the year.

Current DC properties in development and/or production at Warner Bros. Entertainment include:

-- Human Target is being produced by Warner Bros. Television for a mid-season debut on Fox.

-- Midnight Mass is in series development at Warner Bros. Television for consideration for the 2010-11 season.

-- Jonah Hex, Warner Bros. Pictures supernatural Western starring Josh Brolin, Megan Fox and John Malkovich, recently wrapped production in Louisiana.

-- The Losers, Dark Castle/Warner Bros. Pictures action-adventure drama starring Jeffrey Dean Morgan, Zoe Saldana and Chris Evans, began principal photography mid-July in Puerto Rico.

-- The Green Lantern," Warner Bros. Pictures next big superhero tentpole release, recently cast Ryan Reynolds as the titular character. The film has a projected second quarter 2011 release date.

-- Lobo, based on the DC Comics anti-hero, has Guy Ritchie attached as a director; Joel Silver, Akiva Goldsman and Andrew Rona are producing for Silver Pictures and Warner Bros. Pictures.

-- Warner Premieres direct-to-platform DVD animated release of "Green Lantern: First Flight" debuted July 28.

-- Warner Bros. Animation currently produces Batman: The Brave and the Bold, which airs on Cartoon Network.

-- Warner Bros. Interactive Entertainment released Batman: Arkham Asylum on August 25, a dark, action packed videogame adventure for Xbox 360 videogame and entertainment system, PlayStation3 computer entertainment system and Games for Windows.

Prior to being named President, DC Entertainment, Nelson most recently served as President, Warner Premiere since its founding in 2006. Warner Premiere is a Studio-based production company which develops and produces high-quality, direct-to-DVD and short-form digital content, including the highly successful line of DC Universe animated DVD titles, and also pioneered the development of the motion comics category. Under Nelsons leadership, Warner Premiere functions as a full-service production entity with its own resources and release schedule, furthering the Studio's mandate of being a destination for both established and up-and-coming talent to create stand-alone properties as well as experiment in new media.

Before that, Nelson served as Executive Vice President, Global Brand Management, Warner Bros. Entertainment, with the primary responsibility of working cross-divisionally and throughout Time Warner to maximize and optimize all the various windows and outlets available to the Studios signature franchises, brands and event properties on a global basis. In this post, Nelsons primary focus was the management of the Harry Potter brand, which she has overseen since the brands launch at the Studio in 1999. These efforts have helped drive the success of the brand to become the most successful film franchise of all time, as well as a respected consumer property that has generated billions of dollars for the Studio.

At Global Brand Management, Nelson and her team of more than 15 employees worked in all media and platforms to support a number of other key franchise properties, including The Matrix Reloaded, The Matrix Revolutions, Batman Begins, The Dark Knight, Happy Feet, Polar Express and Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, among others.

Prior to overseeing Global Brand Management, Nelson had served as Executive Vice President, Domestic Marketing, Warner Bros. Pictures. Nelson rose quickly through the ranks, having also served as Senior Vice President, Domestic Marketing, Warner Bros. Pictures and prior to that, Senior Vice President, Family Entertainment, Warner Bros. Corporate Worldwide Marketing and Planning. She was also Vice President, Worldwide Corporate Promotions, a post to which she was promoted in March 1998, after joining the Studio in September 1996 as Director of Worldwide Corporate Promotions.

Nelson came to the Studio from Walt Disney Records, where she served as Director of National Promotions. She is a graduate of Syracuse University's Newhouse School of Communications.

http://www.aintitcool.com/node/42292

It's about time they did something right.

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So, this looks like Time-Warner is doing for DC what Disney is going to try to do for Marvel. Makes good sense, but the announcement seems sudden (would this have been in talks for a while before this?).

Also, is this going to have any affect on Didio as editor?

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I am pleased with this. :)

Also, is this going to have any affect on Didio as editor?

I wondered that as well, but honestly sometimes I think Didio is way too stuck in the insular hardcore-comic-book-geek way of thinking, and doesn't allow for the kind of openness that allows for great storytelling like Marvel's done in the past few years.

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So, this looks like Time-Warner is doing for DC what Disney is going to try to do for Marvel. Makes good sense, but the announcement seems sudden (would this have been in talks for a while before this?).

This has nothing to do with the Disney/Marvel stuff. This is a direct response to Marvel studios. WB hinted at this last year.

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This has nothing to do with the Disney/Marvel stuff.

You don't think that the timing is a bit close? It was only one week ago that Marvel and Disney made their announcement. This was undoubtedly in the works for some time before, but I'm sure that they announced DC Entertainment today in direct response to Disney's statements that they would expand Marvel's properties into new media. This essentially puts DC and Marvel on even ground, at least in the realm of future media releases.

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It's really coincidental timing, is all. DC Entertainment wouldn't rush out this announcement to trump the Disney / Marvel deal; they would only make this public once everything was finally lined up.

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It's really coincidental timing, is all. DC Entertainment wouldn't rush out this announcement to trump the Disney / Marvel deal; they would only make this public once everything was finally lined up.

Do you think this counts as "lined up"? I mean, aside from Green Lantern (and maybe Jonah Hex), they don't have anything really major to talk about.

It seems like a slightly rushed announcement to me.

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This has nothing to do with the Disney/Marvel stuff.

You don't think that the timing is a bit close? It was only one week ago that Marvel and Disney made their announcement. This was undoubtedly in the works for some time before, but I'm sure that they announced DC Entertainment today in direct response to Disney's statements that they would expand Marvel's properties into new media. This essentially puts DC and Marvel on even ground, at least in the realm of future media releases.

The timing is just a coincidence. I don't think they are on even ground yet because DC Entertainment hasn't done anything yet. They haven't announced anything new, much less a timeline of future movies.

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It's really coincidental timing, is all. DC Entertainment wouldn't rush out this announcement to trump the Disney / Marvel deal; they would only make this public once everything was finally lined up.

Do you think this counts as "lined up"? I mean, aside from Green Lantern (and maybe Jonah Hex), they don't have anything really major to talk about.

It seems like a slightly rushed announcement to me.

The next Batman film is in the works, Superman is pretty much radioactive, and Wonder Woman no one knows what to do with. So when it comes to movies about the big three, yeah, there weren't any announcements. But that's a good thing, because it shows that DCE sees the potential of the smaller / lesser-known characters. A few years ago, had anyone suggested that Iron Man would not only gross $600 million, but also become one of the best superhero movies of all time, we'd laugh at the idea. Yet here we are. Now it's time for Green Lantern to step up to the plate to do the same for DCE.

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http://dcu.blog.dccomics.com/2010/02/18/for-immediate-release-dc-entertainment-names-executive-team/

Jim Lee and Dan DiDio Named Co-Publishers DC Comics

Geoff Johns to Serve as Chief Creative Officer

John Rood Named EVP, Sales, Marketing and Business Development

Patrick Caldon Named EVP, Finance and Administration

(February 18, 2010 – New York, NY and Burbank, CA) DC Entertainment, founded in September 2009 to unleash the power of the DC Comics library of characters across all media platforms, has named its executive management team, including new co-publishers of DC Comics and a Chief Creative Officer, as well as heads of Sales/Marketing/Business Development and Finance/Administration. Diane Nelson, President, DC Entertainment, made the announcement today.

The new senior executive team includes Jim Lee and Dan DiDio, who have been named Co-Publishers of DC Comics, and Geoff Johns, who will serve as Chief Creative Officer of DC Entertainment. Additionally, John Rood has been named Executive Vice President, Sales, Marketing and Business Development, and Patrick Caldon will serve as Executive Vice President, Finance and Administration. Each of these executives will report directly to Nelson.

“DC Entertainment’s new executive team is a creative ‘dream team,’ with accomplishments and talent unrivaled in the business,” said Nelson. “This announcement continues and underscores DC’s legacy as the ultimate destination for creators. We’ll benefit enormously from the deep experience this team represents, while re-energizing the direction and focus of the company. I’m excited and honored to have each of them with me at the helm of DC Entertainment.”

“With this new leadership team, Diane will be able to fully and respectfully integrate DC’s brand and characters, not only as key content drivers in the film division, but across all of the businesses of Warner Bros. and Time Warner,” said Jeff Robinov, President, Warner Bros. Pictures Group. “I am very proud and excited about the accomplished executives who are charged with expanding this powerful library. They each have a diverse and complementary skill-set and are deeply committed to contributing to the DC Comics legacy.”

Prior to his current post, Lee served as Editorial Director, where he oversaw WildStorm Studios and was also the artist for many of DC Comics’ bestselling comic books and graphic novels, including “All Star Batman and Robin, The Boy Wonder,” “Batman: Hush” and “Superman: For Tomorrow.” He also serves as the Executive Creative Director for the upcoming DC Universe Online massively multiplayer action game from Sony Online Entertainment.

Lee is an award-winning comic book illustrator/creator/publisher who started his professional career at Marvel Comics where his work on the X-Men continues to hold the all-time sales record for single issue sales at eight million copies sold in one month. At Marvel, he also drew the Punisher and co-created many characters, the most popular being Gambit, featured in 2009’s “X-Men Origins: Wolverine” feature film. In 1992, he started his own production company, WildStorm Productions, and co-founded Image Comics, an independent comics company which quickly grew to become the number-three North American comics publisher. His most notable creations, “WildCats” and “Gen 13,” saw life beyond comic books as a CBS Saturday morning cartoon and as a direct-to-video animated movie distributed by Disney, respectively. In 1998, he left Image Comics and sold WildStorm to DC Comics.

DiDio most recently served as Senior Vice President and Executive Editor, DC Universe, overseeing the editorial department for the DC Universe imprint, including the ongoing adventures of Superman, Batman, Wonder Woman, and scores of heroes and villains. He also worked to develop new titles with the industry’s premier writers and artists. At DC Comics, DiDio has spearheaded such bestselling projects as “All Star Batman and Robin, The Boy Wonder,” “Identity Crisis,” Green Lantern, Teen Titans and The Outsiders.

Before joining DC in 2002, DiDio was with Mainframe Entertainment, where he most recently served as Senior Vice President, Creative Affairs, overseeing the development, distribution, marketing and promotion of all Mainframe’s television properties. Prior to that, he served as Executive Director of Children’s Programming for ABC, where he was also a publicity manager, having started his television career at CBS, working in a variety of positions.

Johns builds on his current role at DC from being one of today’s most prolific, popular and award-winning contemporary comic book writers with this new executive role. He is a New York Times bestselling author who has written highly acclaimed stories revitalizing Green Lantern, Superman, the Flash, Teen Titans, and the Justice Society of America for DC Comics.

Johns began his comics career creating and writing “Stars and S.T.R.I.P.E.” for DC Comics while at the same time working with film director Richard Donner. After acclaimed runs on Flash, Teen Titans and the bestselling “Infinite Crisis” mini-series, Johns co-wrote a run on Action Comics with his mentor, Donner. Johns has also written and produced for various other media, including the acclaimed “Legion” and “Absolute Justice” episodes of Warner Bros. Television’s “Smallville” and Adult Swim’s “Robot Chicken” and “Titan Maximum.” He also wrote the story of the DC Universe Online massively multiplayer action game from Sony Online Entertainment.

Rood returns to Warner Bros. after 10 years with the Disney ABC Television Group, where he most recently was Senior Vice President of Marketing, ABC Family. While at ABC, he also consulted for ABC News during the recent transitions at “Good Morning America” and “ABC World News with Diane Sawyer.”

Prior to Disney, Rood worked for six years at Warner Bros. Consumer Products, negotiating promotional deals with national advertisers using Warner Bros.’ properties, including the DC Comics characters. He has also worked in promotions for Equity Marketing on the Burger King account and in advertising for Leo Burnett on the McDonald’s and Miller Brewing accounts.

Caldon most recently served as Executive Vice President, Finance and Operations of DC Comics and MAD Magazine. Before that, he served as Senior Vice President, Finance and Operations, and his other posts at DC include Vice President, Finance and Operations, and Controller, the position in which he joined the company in 1985. Prior to joining DC Comics, Caldon spent a decade at Warner Communications in corporate accounting and as Senior Vice President and CFO of the Cosmos soccer team (owned by Warner Communications at the time).

DC Entertainment, a division of Warner Bros. Entertainment, is charged with strategically integrating the DC Comics business, brand and characters deeply into Warner Bros. and all its content and distribution businesses. DC Entertainment utilizes the expertise the Studio has in building and sustaining franchises to prioritize the 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 is the cornerstone of DC Entertainment, releasing approximately 90 comic books through its various imprints and 30 graphic novels a month as well as continuing to build on its creative leadership in the comic book industry.

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