TODAY

– April 26, 2015

Dish to close rest of its Blockbuster stores in US 


(AP) — The final curtain is falling on the remaining Blockbuster video-rental stores that Dish Network Corp. runs in the U.S.

The closures announced Wednesday will affect about 300 Blockbuster locations scattered around the country. As part of Dish Network's retreat, Blockbuster's DVD-by-mail service is also shutting down next month.

About 2,800 people who work in Blockbuster's stores and DVD distribution centers will lose their jobs, according to Dish Network.

The cost-cutting measures culminate a Blockbuster downfall that began a decade ago with the rise of Netflix's DVD-by-mail service, followed by the introduction of a subscription service that streams video over high-speed Internet connections.

"This is not an easy decision, yet consumer demand is clearly moving to digital distribution of video entertainment," Dish Network CEO Joseph Clayton said in a statement.

The shift has been a boon for Netflix Inc., which now boasts 31 million subscribers to its Internet video service and another 7.1 million DVD-by-mail customers. The company's success has minted Netflix with a market value of $20 billion.

But Blockbuster absorbed huge losses. It closed thousands of its stores before landing in bankruptcy court three years ago. Dish Network bought Blockbuster's remnants for about $234 million in 2011 and then tried to mount a challenge to Netflix.

But Dish Network couldn't wring a profit from Blockbuster either, prompting even more store closures.

The Englewood, Colo., satellite-TV provider had already closed about 500 Blockbuster stores this year. The latest closures, scheduled to be completed by early January, will leave the U.S. with just 50 Blockbuster stores operating under franchise agreements.

The chain's near extinction serves as another stark reminder of how quickly technology can reshape industries. Just a decade ago, Blockbuster reigned as one of the country's most ubiquitous retailers with 9,100 stores in the U.S.

Dish Network is trying to keep the Blockbuster brand alive through an Internet video-streaming service that rents movies and TV shows by title, for a set viewing time.

Blockbuster suffered an operating loss of $35 million on revenue of $1.1 billion last year and posted an operating loss of $4 million during the first half of this year, according to regulatory filings.

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Written on 04/24/2015, 1:57 pm by KEN SWEET, AP Business Writer
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Written on 04/24/2015, 1:51 pm by 
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Written on 04/24/2015, 1:16 pm by JANIE HAR, Associated Press
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Written on 04/24/2015, 11:19 am by Business Journal staff
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Written on 04/24/2015, 10:33 am by Hannah Esqueda
Fresno’s Heald College is still dealing with the fallout from a 2013 lawsuit against its parent company Corinthian colleges when the California Attorney General’s office alleged the company violated consumer protection laws and misrepresented job placement rates to students and investors.Last month, the Fresno campus launched an online petition asking the state office to relax requirements for its sale to another company. Heald officials say that unless a new buyer is approved soon, nearly a dozen campuses will need to close. “The Attorney General is holding buyers liable for past allegations,” said Carolyn Pierce, president of Heald College in Fresno. “That’s unfair to them because they don’t know what happened.”While the school originally said it was in danger of closing by mid-April, Pierce said the college was able to negotiate with its accreditors and push back some deadlines. The extra time has allowed classes to continue as normal but the college is still facing severe consequences including a hold on new student enrollment and the suspension of Cal Grants.“We do have a number of students who rely on those grants,” Pierce said. “We will help those students by not charging whatever the remainder of their tuition would be without the Cal Grant.”Pierce said the school has several interested buyers and the college is hopeful the state will eventually drop its requirement holding future owners responsible for any of Corinthian’s obligations.  In the meantime, the campus is continuing to operate as normal in hopes of calming the nerves of its remaining 700 students. “Our students are definitely nervous and scared about the potential for closure,” Pierce said. “But we’re all ready to go and it’s been business as usual here at Heald College.” Hannah Esqueda |  Reporter can be reached at: 490-3461 or e-mail hannah@thebusinessjournal.com

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