WB CEO Kevin Tsujihara —whom we’ve been watching closely since he took over in March—has made his first big shake-up: ousting TV head Bruce Rosenblum and giving the TV and home entertainment divisions a reorg. Buried in The Hollywood Reporter’s story is a teeny tidbit of some interest to DC Comics Kremlinologists:

Warner Home Video president Ron Sanders moves up to Warner Bros. Worldwide Home Entertainment Distribution president, where, among other things, he’ll expand the retail distribution of DC Entertainment products. And DC Entertainment’s Diane Nelson, remaining president of the stand-aloe entity, will report to both Tsujihara and Warner Bros. Pictures Group. president Jeff Robinov.

Tsujihara and movie head Robinov are said to get along even less well than Tsujihara and Rosenblum did, so everyone is waiting for that shoe to drop, although surely no one will go unshod until after MAN OF STEEL opens.

Diane Nelson previously reported only to Robinov. We’ve heard mixed things about the Tsujihara/Nelson relationship, but it would seem that her loyalty to Robinov is being tested. As we’ve previously noted, the activities of one little comic book company are far below the attention level of CEO, but Tsujihara once ran the division himself, so he definitely has an opinion on it.

We’re going to be sick of saying this over the next few weeks, but the fate of everyone at the WB movie division and at DC Entertainment rests on MAN OF STEEL.

[Via Valerie Gallaher, who has her own take on the situation.]


  1. What I find more interesting than who is the head of what where this week, is this bit: “he’ll expand the retail distribution of DC Entertainment products.” Wonder if that’s a vague idea or whether there’s concrete plans. (And, of course, whether it refers to actual comics at all, which is what I’m imagining.)

  2. Because, of course, two bosses is always better than one.

    As someone who was at one point answering to FOUR different people, I can tell you that that is sooooo fun.

  3. Cue low, ominous strains of “Jaws” music.

    Here’s hoping “Man of Steel” does boffo at the box office!

  4. Let’s just hope Tsujihara is a bigger fan of the regular DC universe than the New52.

    Go back to the characters and issue numbering for your most iconic characters that everybody knows and loved.

    I’ve been in that growing camp that by literally issue #24’s, most of the New52 that I have been following is not or will no longer be published. Contract the line to the icons with some iconic groups, and reserve a few slots for rotating rounds of miniseries to showcase your Storm watches, Mister Terrific, Frankensteins etc. Consolidate LoSH lines. Consolidate GL lines. And consolidate JL and affiliates (I make same recommendation to Marvel with Avengers affiliate books).

    Further, he should task Nelson with overseeing a comprehensive review of the editor/creator (writer/artist) relationships line wide. The negative publicity from the Simone, Liefeld, et. al. fighting impacts their bottom line and harms their brand, highlighting an ineptness in their operations that could’t be ignored.

  5. Go back to the characters and issue numbering for your most iconic characters that everybody knows and loved.

    I don’t think that’s an option. If sales of the pre-New 52 titles had been acceptable, the New 52 campaign wouldn’t have happened.

    A bunch of people seem to think that there’s a demand for the “classic” DC characters that will ensure profitable sales for at least some titles–Superman and Batman titles, if nothing else. Where’s the evidence for that? Warm feelings about some heroes don’t translate directly into sales of those heroes’ titles and never have.

    The main reason for the continued focus on the “New 52” might be that it’s the only branding that the DC titles have right now. If DC were to abandon that, what could the company come up with as a replacement?

    The biggest problem DC has, by far, is that the superhero comics aren’t marketable as individual products like books, DVDs, video games, and other product tie-ins are. Even movies don’t boost sales of the associated comics. If superhero comics were marketable as products, instead of being closer to paper versions of the daytime soap operas, the market for superhero comics would be vastly different.


  6. “The main reason for the continued focus on the “New 52″ might be that it’s the only branding that the DC titles have right now. If DC were to abandon that, what could the company come up with as a replacement?”
    You mean that Didio, Harras and Friends have finally run out of gimmicks? After several years of non-stop gimmicks instead of focusing on good stories and characterization?

    Who the hell needs another paint job like ‘branding’ when the product is still the same ol’ s**t?

  7. Syn,

    I suspect you are right about the sales.

    I base the numbering point on several things. Regardless of outward statements about unwieldy continuity and fandom aside, everyone — including business wonks — recognize, understand, and appreciate a long-term, stable brand. DC’s Superman is not Superman. He’s the New52 version of Superman. People don’t need to get lost in multiverses, alternate universes, or the general ****iness that was flashpoint to know that what we have right now is New Coke, not Coke.

    Also, most everyone who’s relied on this clearly transparent renumbering seems to eventually go back.

    Yes, there is an inarguable spike for #1’s. But dear lord, there’s more value, but perhaps less immediately tangible, to number 900’s!

  8. I think a perceived issue with long-term legacy baggage is a struggle to keep characters relevant.

    How do DC’s icons stand up?

    Their current most popular is who he is because of random gun violence; his parents were killed by a mugger.

    Superman’s most familiar tagline is “He fights for Truth, justice, and the American Way.” But that wasn’t the first iteration, nor is it even from the comics. An earlier version of same had him “fighting for truth, justice, and tolerance.”

    I mean Christ. Look at today’s headlines. If you can’t make those origins connect with today’s audience then I don’t know what to tell them other than they’re royally screwing something up.

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