AT&T/Time Warner Merger Could Affect DC Comics

When the AT&T/Time Warner merger was complete, fans wondered what would happen to DC Comics. A federal judge approved the merger between the two companies on Tuesday, June 12, 2018. Time Warner is the parent company of Warner Bros. and therefore DC Comics. Fans have been wondering if this will affect DC Comics at all. The answer is, it’s hard to tell.

John Stankey, AT&T, spoke about the merger
John Stankey

DC Comics has recently gone through some changes with Geoff Johns leaving his position as Chief Creative Officer. There is no indication that this change had anything to do with AT&T, though the timing is suspicious. It is suspicious because Diane Nelson left her position as President of DC Entertainment around the same time. 

The Hollywood Reporter asked John Stankey, a 30-year AT&T employee who is managing the new divisions, about his role in the DC Comics films. 

“First of all, I think the performance [of DC movies] over the past year and a half is trending the right direction in terms of the quality of the product and how the franchise is being managed. So hats off to Kevin [Tsujihara] and the team around getting the momentum headed the right direction,” Stankey said. 

“Obviously, there were some public things that have occurred over the last couple of weeks [Diane Nelson and Geoff Johns, who ran DC Entertainment, both stepped down] that would indicate that some additional change is under way. My involvement in that is to make sure I support Kevin in getting the absolute best talent possible and we’ll take that franchise to the next level. That’s his set of decisions to make and his direction to go in.”

“It’s my job to facilitate, to make sure he has the full support of the corporation and getting that done,” he continued. “And I believe, as you sit here today and we start to think about what the new value proposition is for a combined Warner Media and AT&T, we obviously want to go to creatives and talk about what we can do with our platforms now that are different than what a standalone Time Warner could do prior to the transaction. That’s a unique opportunity and I want to make sure I can help Kevin sell that and get the right amount of talent in here to elevate the franchise to a new level.”

How Does This Merger Change Things?

At this point in time, there is no way to really determine how far things will change at DC Comics. Jim Lee has taken over the role of Chief Creative Officer at DC Comics. Jim Lee has been co-publisher since 2010. As one of the founding members of Image Comics, he knows the business side of comics as well. The comic books are not the only things being affected. 

Since most DC movies did poorly, there will most likely be changes made. Of course, the Wonder Woman movies will not have many changes. Executives at AT&T will, however, look at the slate of movies in development and cancel some of them, while adjusting others. 

AT&T does not seem to have big plans for DC Comics. But that doesn’t mean they are going to leave it alone. While they may not have plans at the moment, changes will be happening for all of Warner Bros. properties. No matter how big or small, things may not be the same for DC Comics after the merger. 

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About the author

Renji Kuriakose

Renji Kuriakose is a big comic book fan. His favorite character has been Batman since he could remember.

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