The rumored cosolidation of New Line Cinema with Warner Bros. Entertainment was confirmed today in a statement announced by Time Warner Thursday. As part of the move, New Line will be operated as a unit of Warner Bros., but will "maintain separate development, production, marketing, distribution and business affairs operations." The unit, however, will "closely integrate and coordinate those functions with Warner Bros. to maximize film performance and operating efficiencies, achieve significant cost savings, and improve margins," according to the entertainment giant. As part of the new arrangement, New Line's co-chairmen and co-CEOs Robert Shaye and Michael Lynne have elected to leave the studio, but are "in discussions about possible future business relationships with the company." ""We are moving quickly to improve our business performance and financial returns. New Line has built a strong franchise of cutting-edge entertainment," commented Time Warner's president and CEO Jeff Bewkes in a statment. "We can enhance its value by combining it with Warner Bros. Given the trend toward fewer movie releases, New Line and Warner Bros. will now have more complementary release slates, with New Line focusing on genres that have been its strength. With the growing importance of international revenues, it makes sense for New Line to retain its international film rights and to exploit them through Warner Bros.' global distribution infrastructure." [Brian Brooks]