DC moves westward

The Green Lantern is coming, but the news crews are leaving.

Warner Bros. Studios will bring workers with subsidiary DC Entertainment from New York to Burbank over the next 16 months. DC Entertainment is the movie and game arm of DC Comics, publisher of comics and graphic novels with characters including the Green Lantern, Batman, Wonder Woman and Alfred E. Neumann of Mad magazine.


Meanwhile, NBC has announced that the news staff of KNBC and NBC News’ Los Angeles operation will leave Burbank for Universal City in 2012.

The arrival of the DC crew comes as Warner Bros. works on a Green Lantern feature film to be released in summer 2011. Paul McGuire, a Warner Bros. spokesman, said Warner Bros. and DC will unveil a full slate of comics-based films and products later this year.


“We believe this move is going to allow for the greatest positive impact on the DC brand on its world-class franchises over the long term on a variety of platforms, from film to television to gaming,” McGuire said.

He declined to say how many workers will come to the West Coast.

DC Entertainment’s publishing offices will remain in New York, according to a statement by company President Diane Nelson.

McGuire said the studio is still looking for the exact Burbank location for the DC Entertainment group.


“We are considering several locations adjacent to studio operations,” he said.

Larry Gerbrandt, an industry analyst with Media Valuation Partners in Los Angeles, said studios are moving aggressively to capitalize on the popularity of comics, as shown by the studios’ heavy presence at Comic-Con, a trade show in San Diego in July.

“The DC Comics move reflects the growing importance of this division as a source of future content for movies, TV series and the accompanying video games,” Gerbrandt wrote in an e-mail. “Warner hasn’t been as aggressive in exploiting this division in the past, but is certainly aware of the plans Disney has from its new Marvel acquisition … I can see these divisions as becoming much more important going forward.”

Cindy Gardner, a spokeswoman for NBC Universal, confirmed that the entire L.A. news bureau for NBC, as well as KNBC, will move to Universal City by mid-2012. She declined to say how many people are affected.


NBC shows that will continue to be produced in Burbank include “The Tonight Show with Jay Leno,” “Access Hollywood” and “Days Of Our Lives.” Spanish-language station KVEA, or Telemundo 52, will remain in Burbank, but “Telemundo is currently exploring their own options for the business,” Gardner said in an e-mail.

Businesses near the NBC studios lamented the likely loss of clients.

Tina Petrossian, owner of Tony’s Deli on Olive Avenue near the NBC facility, offers special discounts to studio workers and says she has lost customers in previous media industry shuffles.

She said it is good that the NBC news workers aren’t being laid off this time.

“However, you don’t know who’s going to replace that person as a customer,” she said.

James Rhodes of Fairview Auto, a smog test shop across the street from NBC, said customers have been telling him for months that they are headed for Universal City.

“I’m definitely going to feel it,” Rhodes said. “But there isn’t anything I can do to change things.”