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Michael Kelly named president of blockbuster

Can he turn the tailspinning movie rental chain around?

Financial trends and news by Faith Merino
May 2, 2011
Short URL: http://vator.tv/n/19ee

Dish Network announced Monday that its brand new subsidiary, Blockbuster, has a new president: Michael Kelly.  As Dish Network’s EVP of Commercial & Business Services, Kelly was instrumental in leading the company’s acquisition of Blockbuster earlier this month, but can he save the flagging video rental service from certain doom?

"Michael was the visionary behind our acquisition of Blockbuster," said Charlie Ergen, chairman and CEO of DISH Network, in a statement. "His leadership will be key to returning Blockbuster to profitability and improving the experience we offer to consumers across the U.S. and globally."

Kelly has been with Dish Network since his own company, Kelly Broadcasting Systems, was acquired by Dish in 2000. Since then, Kelly has been in charge of creating and accelerating new lines of revenue, and his responsibilities have included overseeing business television and DISH Network Business Solutions, as well as Direct and Commercial sales, advertising sales, interactive applications and satellite-based Internet Protocol (IP) technologies. Prior to that, Kelly has served in a variety of executive positions, including management of field service, customer care operations, and strategic initiatives.

In 1991, Kelly founded his own company, Kelly Broadcasting Systems, which distributed international radio and television programming throughout the U.S.

"Blockbuster can offer more movies to consumers in more ways than any other distributor," Kelly said in a statement. "I am excited to work with Blockbuster's dedicated employees and franchisees around the world to reinvigorate the iconic Blockbuster brand and allow consumers easier access to enjoy the more than 125,000 movie and game titles available from Blockbuster's neighborhood stores, by-mail service and digital library."

God speed, Michael Kelly.

Dish Network announced earlier this month that it had agreed to acquire all of Blockbuster’s assets after winning a bankruptcy court auction for the floundering movie rental retail chain. Dish Network’s bid was valued at $320 million, $228 million of which was to be paid out in cash. The acquisition, which was completed last week, will prevent Blockbuster’s assets from being liquidated, which will keep it floundering for some time more as Dish Network looks for a way to spiff it up and put it back in the running with the more successful movie rental businesses, like Netflix, Redbox, and Amazon.

Since filing for Chapter 11 in September 2010, Blockbuster stores have shrank to 2,400 U.S. locations from 3,300 last September, and the company had plans to cut an additional 700 stores by the end of April. Dish Network has not said whether it has indeed cut 700 more stores, but Director of Corporate Communications Marc Lumpkin says Dish is still reviewing leases and hopes to keep as many open as possible.

Image source: publicbroadcasting.net


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