The Skinny: If the Redskins win tonight, there is a chance the season won't be a total disaster. Fingers crossed! Thursday's roundup includes obituaries on Blockbuster, which will close its remaining stores next year. Also, CBS has a strong third quarter and a profile of NFL Network anchor Rich Eisen.
Daily Dose: On a conference call with analysts Wednesday to discuss third-quarter earnings, Time Warner Inc. Chief Executive Jeff Bewkes said there is softness in the advertising market for TV news channels, including CNN. Ratings at the news channels are down, in part because at this time last year there was a presidential election. But Bewkes seemed to indicate this is not a ratings issue but rather a broader downward shift in the news market. The major advertising categories for news programming are pharmaceuticals and cars.
Does this mean I don't have to return those DVDs? We all knew it was coming, but the news that Blockbuster Video will be no more after this year is still a little jarring. Dish Network, parent of Blockbuster, said Wednesday it was closing the remaining 300 stores. In its heyday, Blockbuster owned close to 10,000 stores, gobbling up smaller video chains and mom and pop shops along the way. Then technology gobbled up Blockbuster's customers as Netflix, Redbox and video-on-demand made roaming the aisles in search of a video obsolete. Obituaries from the Los Angeles Times and Wall Street Journal.
On a roll. Profits at CBS were up more than 20% for the third quarter to $494 million and revenue grew 11% to $3.6 billion thanks to strong ad sales, growing distribution fees and sales of its programming. More important for CBS, it has gradually reduced its reliance on advertising revenue in favor of distribution fees. A look at the CBS results from the Los Angeles Times and Bloomberg.
Coming to America. Just as U.S. studios are seeking to penetrate China's market, Chinese studios are looking to break through here with their own movies. This week, several movie big shots from China are in Hollywood for the American Film Summit and a chance to get face time with movie studio executives here. The New York Times looks at China's efforts to penetrate the U.S. market.
The franchise. He doesn't play a position and his time in the 40-yard dash won't have Robert Griffin III worried, but Rich Eisen has become the face of the NFL Network. A look from the Los Angeles Times at his journey from police beat reporter on Staten Island to ESPN star to the NFL Network.
Strike one. Fox Sports 1, the new cable network Fox launched in August, has so far not delivered the ratings advertisers were promised. Some advertisers were given commercials in Fox's coverage of the World Series to compensate for the missed ratings guarantee on the cable channel, according to Advertising Age.
Follow me on Twitter. I'm worth the distraction. @JBFlint.