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DC Entertainment shake-up leads to executive departures

by  in Comic News Comment

Three top executives are leaving DC Entertainment as part of the company’s massive restructuring, according to multiple reports: Senior Vice President & Creative Director Richard Bruning, Senior Vice President-Marketing and Sales Steve Rotterdam, and Senior Vice President-Brand Management Cheryl Rubin.

The news was first reported on Friday in a since-removed post at The Beat, and then on Sunday by Bleeding Cool before being confirmed this morning by Deadline. It’s unclear whether the executives were laid off or turned down relocation offers.

The three departures follow that of Senior Vice President-Creative Affairs Gregory Noveck in August. In addition, longtime DC employee Patrick Caldon, who was promoted in February to executive vice president-finance and administration — part of the five-person executive team — reportedly will retire. That may explain why his name has been absent from the latest press releases.

Announced on Sept. 21, the reorganization leaves DC’s comics-publishing division in New York City while moving the company’s administrative/business and digital and multimedia operations — including, presumably, the WildStorm offices now based in La Jolla, Calif. — to a Warner Bros.-managed property in Burbank, Calif. As many as 80 of DC’s estimated 250 employees are expected to be fired or relocated.

Bruning, who as part of his wide-ranging duties oversaw the recently closed Zuda imprint, joined DC in 1985 as art director, and was responsible for the original design of the landmark titles Watchmen and The Dark Knight Returns and the logo and branding of the Vertigo imprint. He left the company in 1990 to form his own design and corporate-communications firm, but returned in 1996. Bruning is married to Karen Berger, executive editor of Vertigo.

A relatively new hire, Rotterdam was chief creative officer of Eastwest Marketing Group before joining DC in 2007. He oversaw the publisher’s direct and book-trade sales divisions, advertising sales and custom publishing.

Rubin had been with DC since 1987, beginning as licensing sales manager. As head of brand management, she supervised the creative and merchandising activities of the DC Comics and MAD Magazine libraries, and served as a liaison to Warner Bros. Consumer Products. Rubin also oversaw DC Direct, the company’s collectibles division.

In other restructuring news, DC Entertainment is advertising for two new senior positions: a New York-based manager-international sales, and a Burbank-based senior vice president-publicity.