We hear this isn’t as dramatic as it sounds, but Warner Bros., in a move toward globalizing its marketing and PR position has cut 15 from its staff. At the same time, WB has promoted 15 executives with plans to back fill their old positions.
The reorganization was managed by Blair Rich, president of worldwide theatrical and home entertainment marketing. Michelle Slavich, who was tapped from YouTube five months ago, will lead global PR and strategy under Rich in a maneuver that combines domestic and foreign divisions on the Burbank lot.
Among those noted vets leaving are EVP of International Publicity Lance Volland and Ernie Johnston in promotions and field publicity, who has worked at the studio for the past two decades. Yesterday Deadline exclusively reported that Lynne Frank, who had been at Warner Bros. since 2010, was exiting as International Marketing President.
In a note to staff, Blair wrote, “We believe these changes will position us for continued success as a world-class, forward-focused marketing organization in a highly competitive marketplace. While change is never easy, it is necessary, and the sad reality is that there will be limited staff reductions as a result of this restructure. Please know that we’ve done everything we can to minimize impact on team members.”
Dana Nussbaum will oversee theatrical media which will be more closely aligned with the home entertainment media team. In this division, Jack Walker has been promoted to SVP, Media & Digital Marketing, Home Entertainment, reporting to Nussbaum and Schell. Walker will work closely with Andrew Hotz, who oversees Theatrical Digital Marketing & Media, and Jeff Brown, who oversees Home Entertainment Television.
Unlike recent cuts at Sony and slate share sell-offs, which appear as though that the major studio is being primed for a merger, that’s not the case here with Warners and the latest AT&T merger. Since August Warners has had a great run with four back-to-back $100M-plus hits including The Meg, Crazy Rich Asians, The Nun and A Star Is Born. Those four pics alone have amassed $1.3 billion and they have Fantastic Beasts 2, The Mule and Aquaman ahead during the holiday corridor.
Variety broke the news about the cuts.