The very respected veteran LA bureau manager of BusinessWeek, Ron Grover, agrees with me about New Line in the current issue. “It’s time to bring New Line Cinema into the fold… It’s more than just one bad flick. New Line Cinema, the studio that gave the U.S. Nightmare on Elm Street and basked in its independence for much of its 40 years, needs a change. Co-founders Bob Shaye and Michael Lynne, both in their late 60s, still run the place. Their contracts are up at the end of the year and the buzz in Hollywood is they will be gone soon. Hollywood online columnist extraordinaire Nikki Finke wrote, “It’s virtually certain that the studio pair will be shown the door.” … it is time for New Line to join the rest of the company. The cost savings alone should justify the move. After all, this is Hollywood. finThe savings from shuttering New Line’s marketing, distribution, and other operations, would be more than pocket change… Warner Brothers folks are said to be pushing for just this change… But one of the sorry things that Jeff Bewkes inherits is a corporate culture at Time Warner that all too often creates silos in which opposing camps don’t work well together. Warner Brothers distributes some of New Lines’ films overseas but it should do more. Folding in New Line would save money and probably improve cash flow and the films. It’s not the Wall Street-shaking move that an AOL spin-off might be, but it would show folks that Jeff Bewkes is ready to give the audience what it wants.”
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