THR's Women in Entertainment 2011: Power 100
The year has seen one high point after another for Nelson, who delicately balanced a trio of high-wire acts. The culmination of the Harry Potter movie franchise, which, as global head of franchise development, Nelson has been overseeing since 2000, was an emotional marker for her, even as she and her team make sure that the end of the film franchise is not the end of the Potter brand. The hardest part of that job, according to Nelson, was fighting for the right to say no to certain merchandising opportunities, letting Warners -- where she's worked for 15 years -- make a short-term trade-off for long-term brand protection.
"The goal was not to create a trend or a fad," explains the mother of two boys, ages 7 and 12. She oversaw the launch of Aim High, a McG-produced Internet short series that marks a shift from an emphasis on made-for-video to digital content production. But perhaps the biggest and most controversial move was saved for last: As president of DC Entertainment, she presided over the rebooting of DC Comics. The home of Superman, Batman and Wonder Woman set sales records and found itself in the mainstream when it not only relaunched its comics in print form, but also became the first major publisher to go digital day and date as well. "We made them feel like part of pop culture again," says Nelson, 44. "And not a declining business or niche business, which is what it was, arguably, a year ago."
She plans to make DC the next evergreen brand for Warners, taking it to Potter levels by working with other divisions to thrust the characters front and center across all platforms, from screen to digital to stage to consumer products.
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