EXCLUSIVE: Actually, there’s still a little contract language to be worked out so the deal is not formally closed yet. But I can report that, after three months of negotiations, and a meeting two weeks ago with Time Warner chief Jeff Bewkes, Jeff Robinov has what he wants — for now. He’s been re-upped as president of the Warner Bros Pictures Group, a position he took over back in January 2008. Robinov’s contract was coming due this December. My info is that he and Time Warner had been in negotiations since June, when the company said a new deal would be offered to Robinov. But it took some time to actually put the contract on the table until recently. Then, I’m told, Robinov flew to New York the week of August 17th to meet personally with Bewkes, and that one-on-one went “great”. The result is a new contract. (That very audible sigh of relief you hear is from Joel Silver, who wouldn’t be in business at WB without Robinov’s loyalty.) And let me say this: Jeff deserves this show of confidence. Snark how you will about Warner Bros (and I certainly have!), the movie studio once again is having a banner year, maybe even bigger than last year’s Hollywood record-setting year. The studio, with help from New Line now in the fold, is succeeding not just with huge testosterone tentpoles but also comedies and chick flicks. As such, Robinov deserves the credit for continuing to oversee the film division and its worldwide production, marketing, and distribution operations. I assume boss Alan Horn still retains final greenlight authority even if he does relinquish oversight of everything else to Robinov. Now, the next question is what happens with Robinov when Alan Horn and Barry Meyer leave the studio. (Remember, in March, Bewkes only reupped them for another two years.) It’s clear that Robinov is certainly the lead candidate to replace Horn as the top movie mogul at the studio. “Warner Bros will name Horn’s successor in about a year. That times out very nicely for Robinov,” a source explained to me. Meanwhile, I can also confirm that those rumors surrounding Universal and Robinov aren’t true: he didn’t seek the chairmanship of Universal Pictures, and he was never offered the gig.
Editor-in-Chief Nikki Finke - tip her here.