New Line Preps Move to MediaCom

NEW YORK New Line, the Time Warner-owned movie studio, is pulling its media chores from Aegis Group’s Carat and placing them with WPP Group’s MediaCom without a review, according to sources. The client spent $250 million on domestic ads in 2007, according to Nielsen Monitor-Plus.

The shift will take place after New Line releases its Sex and the City film in May.

Word of the shift comes a month after Time Warner said it would fold New Line into its larger Warner Bros. Studios film unit, a MediaCom client.

According to Nielsen Monitor-Plus, Warner Bros. Studio spent more than $600 million on ads in 2007. Combined, the Warner Bros./New Line account would surpass $850 million, based on 2007 spending levels. But the New Line ad budget is expected to fall because the unit will produce fewer films as part of Warner Bros. (Last year, New Line produced 12 features; that number will be halved moving ahead, per sources.)

Time Warner has said the consolidation would help reduce costs and double New Line’s profit over time. New Line was founded 40 years ago by Robert Shaye, who continued to oversee operations until last month.

New Line is known for popular series including A Nightmare on Elm Street and Lord of the Rings. Last year, it released Hair Spray, Rush Hour 3 and The Golden Compass.

MediaCom declined comment, as did Carat. The client could not be immediately reached.