In a surprise move Time Warner Chairman/CEO Jeff Bewkes has named Kevin Tsujihara as Warner Bros.' new CEO. Bruce Rosenblum, who heads the Warner TV unit that accounts for over 50% of the company’s revenue, had been the expected choice to takeover as executive in charge of all of Warner Bros.’ divisions (which include DC Comics).
Like Tsujihara, Rosenblum took over his current position as head of a key Warner Bros. unit in 2005, and Rosenblum’s tenure has been viewed as extremely successful by industry analysts. In a statement explaining their choice, Bewkes and outgoing Warner Bros. CEO Barry Meyer praised Tsujihara’s performance as head of the Home Entertainment division, noting "that Kevin was appointed in 2005 to lead the then newly formed Home Entertainment Group, which he has skillfully led through a difficult transition, and which remains number one in the industry by any measure. Just as importantly, he is a leading voice in creating and deploying new digital models so that we remain market leaders. We’ve both been impressed with Kevin’s strategic understanding and intuitive grasp of the evolution of the consumer’s interaction with our television shows, films, and video games, and his ability to visualize how our products will be enjoyed in the future."
Certainly the size of the operation overseen by Rosenblum, whose unit, according to Deadline
, created $8.3 billion worth of revenue during the most recent 9 month period compared with just $1.3 billion from Tsujihara’s division, would appear to argue in Rosenblum’s favor, but perhaps the powers that be at Time/Warner are more worried about the threats and opportunities the future might hold for major media companies (digital piracy and new distribution methods) than they are concerned about the company’s ability to create the kind of TV shows and films that modern audiences want to see.