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Time Warner Shuffles Warner Bros. Management

Time Warner (NYSE: TWX) CEO Jeff Bewkes is rejiggering the management of its Warner Bros. business, which has been led for the last twelve years by CEO Barry Meyer and president Alan Horn. The company is extending Meyer’s contract for two more years, but Horn will step down and become a consultant to the company starting next April.

Three Warner Bros. executives — Pictures President Jeff Robinov, Television President Bruce Rosenblum and Home Entertainment Group President Kevin Tsujihara — will form a new ‘Office of the President,’ which will report to Meyer. All will retain their “current responsibilities while becoming more engaged in the operations of the overall company,” according to the announcement.

Time Warner is describing the changes as a “phased plan” designed to “ensure as little disruption to our operations as possible.”

David adds: The shakeup at Warner Bros. comes amid myriad smaller changes within the entertainment unit. For example, in response to the boost that Marvel (NYSE: DIS) has given Disney in both film and online, Warner Bros. is now trying to rework Marvel rival DC Comics. As Reuters reported yesterday, DC Entertainment is moving the bulk of its operations to Hollywood from New York to be more integrated into Warner Bros. Of course, DC execs said the change has nothing at all to do with Marvel’s positioning within Disney, and that the plans were formed a year ago. Still, since Warner Bros. created DC Entertainment a year ago, why didn’t it immediately situate it in Hollywood to begin with?

Warner Bros. has also been trying to reform itself in other ways to meet the changing media landscape. Like the other major studios, Warner Bros. Home Entertainment has found some peace with the 28-day window for new releases via Redbox and Netflix (NSDQ: NFLX) rentals, which the company has said boosted flagging DVD sales.

Over the past two years, under Rosenblum, Warner Bros. TV Group has found some ad and viewer success by reviving its WB Network TV brand as an ad-supported video network with a mix of new programming and old series. More recently, the Warner Bros. Home Entertainment Group, which sought to broaden its offerings into online gaming with the $160 million purchase of Turbine, shifted M&A chief Jeff Junge to the new role of SVP of online games and digital games platforms.

Still, whether this new “office of the president” will help all make it easier to spread its entertainment holdings across the various media channels in a smoother way is something that certainly falls in the “to be determined” category.