Warner Bros. Entertainment has realigned its businesses involved in the digital delivery of entertainment content to consumers to create the Warner Bros. Home Entertainment Group, to be headed by Kevin Tsujihara as president. The new group will oversee home video, online, wireless, games, anti-piracy and emerging technologies operations.
In his new post, Tsujihara reports directly to Barry M. Meyer, chairman/ceo, Warner Bros. and Alan F. Horn, president/coo, Warner Bros.
The massive realignment is in response to changes in the way consumers view entertainment product and seeks to maximize current and next-generation distribution scenarios to make the studios content available to audiences through as many channels, platforms and devices as possible. The formation of the Home Ent. Group is believed to help the company harness the benefits of emerging technologies, as well as manage the risks these technologies pose to the economic value of the content.
Also just formed is Warner Bros. Digital Distribution, a business unit within the Home Ent. Group, which will include Warner Bros. Online and Wireless, as well as the businesses handling electronic sell-through, VOD, SVOD and pay-per-view. Warner Bros. Digital Distribution will manage the worldwide electronic distribution streams of the studios product over existing, new and emerging digital platforms, which, previously, had been handled by a number of different business units at WB.
Our companys strategic advantage is that we create innovative and unique content on a massive scale, be it television shows, animated characters or films of all sorts, from global blockbusters to small, local-language pictures, said Meyer. Warner Bros. operates on a global scale, and to fully realize our contents potential, we must have the perspective of a global strategy. We must safely exploit our assets across every exhibition outlet available to us today and those developed in the future, while managing windowing structures so as not to cannibalize these assets and with a constant eye toward protecting them from digital theft.
Kevin is a visionary executive, well versed in future-based technologies, and the ideal person to help us navigate the uncharted territories well face with emerging and next-generation distribution and exhibition platforms, Meyer continued. Well look to him and his expertise to help shape and execute the companys digital strategies and business plans.
We know that people arent just sitting on the couch and watching TV anymore, added Horn. Theyre into DVD, videogames, video-on-demand, the Internet, PDAs and more. As content providers, it is absolutely in our best interest to responsibly meet consumer demand for our product across as many of these exhibition platforms as possible, and, in turn, to use these platforms to help us extend the entertainment experience and ultimately give the consumer more flexibility.
The business units comprising the Home Ent. Group include Warner Bros. Digital Distribution, Warner Home Video, Warner Bros. Interactive Entertainment (including Warner Bros. Games), Warner Bros. Technical Operations and Warner Bros. Anti-Piracy Operations. Tsujihara will oversee the management of each of these divisions.
Warner Home Video will be the cornerstone of the Home Ent. Group. In addition to spearheading WBs move into next-generation, high-definition DVD, home video will continue to mine its unmatched library of film and television hits, expanding both its catalog and domestic franchise releases.
In the online and wireless arenas, Jim Noonan, svp/gm, Warner Bros. Online, will work through Warner Bros. Digital Distribution to fully maximize and exploit the promotion and marketing of entertainment titles across all current and future platforms.
Plans are underway to increase gaming production and output levels of both original properties and those based on titles in the Warner Bros. library. Under the leadership of Jason Hall, svp, Warner Bros. Interactive Ent., Warner Bros. game business will be integrated into the Home Ent. Group while continuing to work closely with Warner Bros. Consumer Products on its licensed titles.
Chris Cookson, president, Warner Bros. Technical Operations; Darcy Antonellis, svp, Warner Bros. Anti-Piracy Operations; and Dean Marks, svp, Intellectual Property, Warner Bros. Home Ent. Group, will work closely with Tsujihara to create, evaluate and best exploit new technologies, digital rights management applications and digital safeguards for securely delivering content across all current emerging distribution platforms. Cookson, Antonellis and Marks will also continue to hone the companys DRM technologies to provide a greater array of choices, flexibility and price structures to consumers while protecting unauthorized redistribution of content.
The great promise of digital technology and the development and implementation of digital rights management is that consumers will be able to choose how they want to consume content, said Tsujihara. Were entering an exciting time in the entertainment business when the consumer, empowered by new technologies, has an active role in the process instead of being a passive participant. As exhibition platforms, distribution channels and even technologies in the creative process continue to evolve, its our goal as a company to be a leader in offering unique and innovative entertainment options to the public.
Tsujihara was evp, Corporate Business Development & Strategy for three years after serving as evp, New Media. In both of these posts, he was responsible for the oversight of all of Warner Bros. new media endeavors and initiatives, including identifying and negotiating equity investments and strategic alliances with companies whose assets could play an integral role in moving the company forward in both the new and traditional media. He also had corporate oversight of Warner Bros. Online.
Tsujihara joined WB in 1994 to assist in the management of the companys interest in Six Flags. He was then promoted to vp, Corporate Projects and later to svp, Strategic Planning and Development.
He holds a bachelors degree in business administration from USC and an MBA from Stanford University. In between earning his degrees, he spent four years in Ernst & Youngs entertainment division, working in the audit and merger and acquisitions areas. Upon graduating from Stanford, he founded QuickTax Inc., a company specializing in the electronic filing of tax and financial data.