Blockbuster Finally Gets It Right

But its IPO raises a question: Why unload a turnaround?

Will Viacom Chairman Sumner M. Redstone finally--to borrow Blockbuster Video's latest catchy slogan--Go Home Happy? For most of the 4 1/2 years since Viacom Inc. bought Blockbuster Inc. for $8.4 billion, the giant video-rental chain has been a drag on everything from Viacom's earnings to Redstone's standing as a media grandee. Now, Blockbuster's financial performance is suddenly living up to its name. "A year ago, that chain was a C-minus operation," says Robert C. Alexander of New York-based entertainment-industry consultant Alexander & Associates Inc. "Now, it's really quite a powerhouse."

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