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Warner Bros. forms new division to manage digital networks

Warner Bros. forms new division to manage digital networks
Craig Hunegs, president of business and strategy for Warner Bros. Television Group, will oversee a new division to expand digital networks. (Warner Bros.)

Movie and TV studio Warner Bros. has created a new division to expand its digital networks business as the entertainment company adapts to audience shifts to online outlets.

The newly created Warner Bros. Digital Networks will focus on building the Burbank-based studio's growing portfolio of digital services, including online video channels, the company said Thursday.

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Craig Hunegs, president of business and strategy for Warner Bros. Television Group, will oversee the new division. He reports to Kevin Tsujihara, chief executive of Warner Bros., which is owned by Time Warner Inc.

The media firm has made recent investments to expand its digital efforts as consumers increasingly access their content online.

In February, Warner Bros. announced that it would acquire DramaFever, a streaming-video subscription service that specializes in South Korean soap operas and movies. In addition, the studio has the streaming service Warner Bros. Archive Instant to offer classic titles.

As the head of Digital Networks, Hunegs will also oversee the company's investments in the gamer network Machinima, LeBron James' and Maverick Carter's Uninterrupted, and Ellen Digital Ventures, a partnership with Ellen DeGeneres.

"We've been growing our digital business over the last year, and now it feels like we're at a critical mass where we need to organize around it," Hunegs said. "As a studio we need to adapt and we need to evolve, and this gives us a way to do that."

The company did not mention any other new digital projects Thursday, but Hunegs said the unit plans to announce more initiatives in the coming months.

Other Time Warner businesses, including Turner Broadcasting and HBO, have already made pushes into the streaming video space with so-called over-the-top networks.

Last year, the media giant launched its HBO Now subscription app, which allows viewers to watch the premium cable network's content without subscribing to a full-on pay-TV package.

Follow Ryan Faughnder on Twitter for more entertainment business coverage: @rfaughnder

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