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More massive shake-ups in Hollywood as WB chairman and CEO of six years Kevin Tsujihara has announced he will be stepping down from his position, THR and other outlets are reporting.
“It is in the best interest of WarnerMedia, Warner Bros., our employees and our partners for Kevin to step down as Chairman and CEO of Warner Bros.,” WarnerMedia CEO John Stankey announced.
Tsujihara sent out his own memo to staffers.
The move came only weeks after Tsujihara, 54, was given greater responsibility in the WB re-organization. Unfortunately it also came after revelations that he had engaged in a three-year relationship with starlet Charlotte Kirk and promised to help her get roles as a result of their relationship.

In a separate memo Tsujihara sent to Warner staffers today, he said that after reflecting “on how the attention on my past actions might impact the company’s future,” he had decided to step down. He added that “it has become clear that my continued leadership could be a distraction and an obstacle to the company’s continued success. The hard work of everyone within our organization is truly admirable, and I won’t let media attention on my past detract from all the great work the team is doing.”
Tsujihara’s departure comes as John Stankey, named CEO of WarnerMedia in 2017, puts his stamp on the company in the wake of the AT&T’s $85 billion to $105 billion acquisition of Time Warner, which was approved last spring and then upheld by a federal appeals court last month. In a major reorganization, announced March 4, Tsujihara had been given additional responsibilities, including oversight of a new kids and young adults business bringing together family, kids and animation businesses from across WarnerMedia, including Cartoon Network, Adult Swim and Boomerang. Additionally, Otter Media, Turner Classic Movies and all activities around licensed consumer products development for WarnerMedia properties were added to his portfolio.

Tsujihara was the first Asian-American to run a major studio. He was also the first head of the WB studio to have more than a cursory interest in DC Comics and their characters’ importance to the WB film slate. Before heading up the studio, he had direct oversight of DC’s publishing arm and helped introduce the successful line of direct-to-home-video DC animated movies. After becoming chairman, he took a hands-on approach to developing the DC-based film slate as a rival to Marvel’s efforts.
This push had a lot of setbacks, including the terrible reaction to Batman v Superman and the perceived failure of The Justice League film. But things were once again on an upswing with the success of Wonder Woman and Aquaman and the plan to roll out a series of mostly unrelated, director-driven films based on the DC universe seemed to be a solid, if sometimes unorganized, plan.
A replacement for Tsujihara has not yet been announced. Whoever it is will have increased responsibilities to integrate not only the DC characters but the Looney Tunes, Harry Potter, and other massive, worldwide brands into the WB’s streaming and theatrical divisions.
More to come!

7 COMMENTS

  1. Let’s be real here folks, he was fired over this situation. When you get high enough on the corporate ladder they give the choice of being fired or stepping down gracefully. The term “effectively immediately” is the higher ups term for your fired! I worked at WB during the Alan Horn era and Jeff Robinov should have gotten the job. The bake off was a huge blunder on Jeff Bewks part.

  2. Oh man, I had high hopes for this guy. What a dingus! He’s not Jeff Bezos/Lex Luthor powerful enough to make an affair seem like an uprising against conservative media yet.

  3. Mixed feelings about this one, because it was a consensual affair. Older moguls have been having relationships with young female “proteges” since the days of W.R. Hearst and Marion Davies. The media played dumb and looked the other way in those days.

  4. Obviously, this looks bad — a married man in his 50s having an affair with a 21-yer-old actress, and apparently using his influence to get her roles in movies. But there doesn’t seem to be anything criminal here (as far as we know). This wasn’t Harvey Weinstein or Les Moonves grabbing women they’ve just met and demanding sex on the spot.

  5. If having an extra-marital affair is now going to cost people their jobs, there will soon be lots of people in all fields (including journalism) applying for unemployment.

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