From the files of 'In case you never noticed.'
Though never directly publicly announced, 'DC Entertainment' is no more. The division of Warner Bros. Global Brands and Experiences was renamed simply 'DC' as far back as September 2018.
While the 'DC Entertainment' name and boilerplate description can still be found on the Company Overview page on Warner Bros.'s website, the name change seemingly goes back to the creation of WBGB and the promotion of Pam Lifford to its President, overseeing Warner Bros. Consumer Products, DC, Themed Entertainment and a then-new Global Franchise team, as announced by Kevin Tsujihara, Chairman and CEO, Warner Bros.
DC Entertainment was founded 10 years ago to rebrand then-DC Comics as more of a multimedia platform. Diane Nelson, who exited her position in June 2018, served as its first President. Here's how DC Entertainment is still described on Warner Bros. website:
"DC Entertainment is the creative division charged with strategically integrating its iconic content across Warner Bros. and WarnerMedia. Founded in 2009, DC Entertainment works in concert with many key Warner Bros. divisions to unleash its stories and characters across all media, including but not limited to film, television, consumer products, home entertainment and interactive games."
In the 2009 press release, Warner Bros. announced the DC Comics publishing business "will remain the cornerstone of DC Entertainment, releasing approximately 90 comic books through its various imprints and 30 graphic novels a month and continuing to build on its creative leadership in the comic book industry."
The low-key name change now seems like a precursor to Wednesday's announcment of organizational changes at the publisher. Based on a memo circulated to its Burbank, Calif. employees this week, the new DC seems to be positioning away from being a full-service multimedia brand integrating feature films, TV, games, and home video and will refocus on publishing, with the comic book Direct Market at the heart of their core business.
While DC has mostly maintained their level of graphic novel output since the creation of DC Entertaiment, 2018 saw a decrease in the number of comic book titles they published. According to figures released by Diamond Comic Distributors, DC began the year with a monthly title count in the 80s, eventually settling into releasing titles in the 60s and 70s range for most of the latter half of the year. In December DC published 52 new comic book titles to the Direct Market.
According to estimates by John Jackson Miller of Comichron, DC published 887 comic books in 2018, down from 989 in 2017 and 1107 as recently as 2014, more in line with the approximately 90 per month figure of 2009.
Whether DC's intent to get "back to their roots" as a Direct Market publisher will result in the increase in the number of monthly titles it releases will be closely watched over 2019.
DC declined to comment for this story.