Warner Bros. moves all DC operations except publishing to L.A. from New York, cuts some staff
A yearlong reorganization at Warner Bros.' DC Entertainment division has finally concluded as the studio decided to move some of its New York-based operations to the Los Angeles area, resulting in about 50 layoffs.
DC's multimedia production, including film, television and online, along with digital publishing operations will relocate to Burbank, while traditional comic book publishing will remain in New York.
Since last September, when Diane Nelson was named president of DC -- best known for its superhero properties Superman, Batman and Wonder Woman -- she has considered consolidating the entire unit at Warner Bros.' Burbank headquarters, where she works.
"We seriously considered every scenario and looked at the operational, financial and people considerations," Nelson said. "We think this is the best way to go."
DC's non-comic-book production efforts, including film and television properties being developed at the studio, will be overseen by Chief Creative Officer Geoff Johns. L.A.-based co-publisher Jim Lee will oversee publishing on new digital platforms such as the iPad and co-publisher Dan DiDio will run the comic book operation out of New York.
About 20% of DC's roughly 250 staffers will lose their jobs as part of the shift, while some others will move to the West Coast from the East. In addition, certain new positions are being added in Burbank.
Ongoing uncertainty has played a role in DC's slow ramp-up since Nelson took her job last year. At the time, Warner's top executives said they were counting on the new DC team to help develop a slate of tentpole movies that could become crucial franchises for the studio after the "Harry Potter" series comes to an end next year.
However, although various projects have been discussed, nothing has been given a definite spot on the Warner schedule after next June's "Green Lantern," which was already in the works before Nelson took her job.
But the DC president said that with the unit's organizational changes complete, development and production are now the top priority.
"Our intention is that this is the final culmination of more than nine months of careful planning," Nelson said. "Now we are all looking forward before the end of the year to talking a lot about our content plans."
-- Ben Fritz
Photo: DC Entertainment President Diane Nelson and Chief Creative Officer Geoff Johns. Credit: Liz O. Baylen / Los Angeles Times.