One of the biggest headlines last week was the announcement that DC Comics is making the move from New York City to Burbank, California, with “plans in the works to centralize DCE’s operations in 2015.” DC Entertainment president Diane Nelson spoke with The Wall Street Journal, further clarifying the reasons behind the shift in location for the publisher.
Nelson’s responses overall indicate a desire to centralize operations for ease of communication and organization, something she has been focused on since she became president of the company in 2009.
“It continued to be in my mind over three years, since it was never optimal to run any business, but certainly not a creative business, on two coasts,” Nelson told The Wall Street Journal. “With Kevin [Tsujihara] taking over as CEO [in February] and his focus and prioritization on DC, it became the right time. In addition there are practicalities of our lease terms in New York and here in Burbank.”
Further, Nelson characterized the separation of the company on two coasts as impractical, saying, “Literally everything is more difficult.”
“We had a huge Halloween party and a costume contest with the Burbank office and New York on a remote screen,” she said. “We use all the best technology to make sure we’re remotely connected. But it still always falls apart. People feel disengaged. That’s not a good way to run a company. When you have a creative business and ideas generated from people working together, I think you can work happier together.”
Since the announcement, many fans and professionals have speculated as to whether the move from New York — arguably the center of the publishing world — will cause DC to miss out on certain opportunities, Nelson doesn’t believe that staying in New York simply for the publishing legacy aspect should be taken under consideration.
“I think practically we will not be missing out on anything. I am 100% sure we can maintain the commitment to our business in the exact same way we have by having the whole operation here in Burbank,” she said. “There are talent and other resources in the New York area we have access to, but fewer and fewer are there. So it’s not a compelling reason. There is an emotional aspect and a legacy to the publishing industry in New York and for DC specifically that we will miss out on. We need to acknowledge that is real.”
The DC Entertainment president emphasized that the move is not intended to begin company-wide layoffs and that the publisher is “offering everyone a chance to move.”
“We have a very competitive package with all sorts of components in terms of relocation and other services. We’re doing everything we can to help people find it exciting,” Nelson said. “This is not the corporatization of DC. It isn’t about folding DC into Warner Bros. We’re going to help DC feel like more of an important priority in Warner Bros.”