The CEO of Warner Bros, Kevin Tsujihara, used to be the guy who Paul Levitz reported into as Publisher and President of DC Comics. Between them, they maintained the plan where DC wouldn’t really get noticed at Warners, but would have freedom to create all sorts of comics, as long as they stayed profitable overall. And basically hid from the world..
After Kevin moved on, everything got reorganised as Warners began to realise that DC existed again. Paul was pushed out, and the company set upon a greater exploitation of the DC brands (hence Before Watchmen), got behind events such as the New 52 and pushed the publisher into exploring new opportunities and new media. DC’s more esoteric work, such as Vertigo, was reduced or made more commercially sensitive, such as tie ins to successful books and movies.
But now Kevin Tsujihara has been made CEO of Warners, things are beginning to change again. He has begun to shuffle people around, the Hollywood Reporter notes;
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-alone entity, will report to both Tsujihara and Warner Bros. Pictures Group. president Jeff Robinov.
Tsujihara is not just some “suit” who doesn’t understand Comics and is content to look the other way regardless of what happens with the publisher. To the contrary, he was very instrumental in launching the earliest stages of DC’s digital comics initiatives. He rolled his sleeves up and was right there in the middle of it all.
So what are his plans for DC now?
I would assume there’s going to be way more focus on the digital side, with Marvel expanding in leaps and bounds in this department and leaving DC relatively in the dust. With Sanders now working closer with DC on product, the spotlight is shining more directly than ever on the production of the comics themselves.
This is one of those “may you live in interesting times” moments, isn’t it?