DC Entertainment announced today that they would be moving their multimedia operations to Los Angeles while leaving their wing in Manhattan. The reason? Among several things, to devote a greater focus on DC-branded movies. UPDATE: The Wildstorm line is ending.
This impending bi-coastal split mirrors what Marvel's done with their comic and entertainment divisions. We should see an announcement concerning DC's upcoming superhero film roster in a month or so. Here's a portion of the press release from DC's The Source:
DC Entertainment, as part of its ongoing strategy to integrate the DC Comics business, brand and characters into Warner Bros. Entertainment's content and distribution operations, will relocate its business functions related to and supporting multi-media and digital content production to Burbank, California. DCE's publishing operations will remain in New York, continuing DC Comics' 75-plus year legacy of leadership in the comic book arena. These announcements were made today by Diane Nelson, President, DC Entertainment.
"These organizational changes reinforce the strengths of DC's greatest legacies – most importantly its people and its creative talent – and offer greater opportunity for maximum growth, success and efficiency in the future," said Nelson. "Our two offices will stretch and build their respective areas of focus, while prioritizing and aggressively striving to connect and cooperate more strongly than ever before between them and with their colleagues at Warner Bros."
"This strategic business realignment allows us to fully integrate and expand the DC brand in feature films as well as across multiple distribution platforms of Warner Bros. and Time Warner," said Jeff Robinov, President, Warner Bros. Pictures Group, to whom Nelson reports. "We are creating a seamless, cohesive unit that will bring even more great characters and content to consumers everywhere."
The relocation process is scheduled to be completed by the end of 2011, with DCE's businesses related to the development and production of feature films, television, digital media, video games and consumer products as well as the company's administrative functions relocating to a Warner Bros.-managed property in Burbank, CA. DC Comics' publishing operations, which have been the bedrock since the company's inception with an annual output of over 1,100 comic books, 300 graphic novels and MAD magazine, will remain in New York.
UPDATE 9/21: DC also announced that they would be ending the long-running (and often critically acclaimed) Wildstorm line. Their online ZUDA line is closing as well. From the Wildstorm blog, The Bleed, Jim Lee and Dan DiDio said the following:
After taking the comics scene by storm nearly 20 years ago, the WildStorm Universe titles will end this December. In this soft marketplace, these characters need a break to regroup and redefine what made them once unique and cutting edge. While these will be the final issues published under the WildStorm imprint, it will not be the last we will see of many of these heroes. We, along with Geoff Johns, have a lot of exciting plans for these amazing characters, so stay tuned. Going forward, WildStorm's licensed titles and kids comics will now be published under the DC banner.
After this week, we will cease to publish new material under the ZUDA banner. The material that was to have been published as part of ZUDA this year will now be published under the DC banner. The official closing of ZUDA ends one chapter of DC's digital history, but we will continue to find new ways to innovate with digital, incorporating much of the experience and knowledge that ZUDA brought into DC.
We'll be further expanding our digital initiative and making a lot more news in this space. As part of that transformation, the WildStorm editorial team will undergo a restructuring and be folded into the overall DC Comics Digital team, based in Burbank, which will be led by Jim Lee and John Rood. With nearly two million free downloads and hundreds of thousands of paid downloads, our digital foray is already reaching a new audience worldwide. We could not be more excited by the successful launch of our Digital Publishing products in June, which exceeded all sales forecasts and will be building on our early success with new applications for DC material on all major formats and hardware, partnering with Warner Bros Digital Distribution. It has extremely been rewarding to hear anecdotal stories of lapsed readers returning to the art form and of brick and mortar stores gaining new customers who sampled digital comics.