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CBS Records Is Back!

CBS Records is Back!:

So much for CBS's spinoff from Viacom -- meaning that it's focusing on one business -- the eye is really trying to become a vertically integrated media company.

First CBS says it's starting a movie studio; making films to fill its cable TV slots (owning the content means no fees, more control), and now CBS says it's starting a music business. Sure, the music industry is notoriously troubled, but CBS is doing it smart -- not bothering with anything having to do with actual CDs.

The goal of the new venture is to generate music to use in their prime-time TV programming and then sell it on Apple's iTunes, or, perhaps, strike a deal for a CD with other labels. But the bottom line is -- and this is just a way to save money on their primetime costs -- that licensing music gets pricey, especially with internet distribution of TV shows.

CBS wants to do everything in-house because it's cheaper...But can the music have the same effect if no one recognizes it? Or, can the music gain traction on its own right? Not much to worry about for CBS -- the division just has ten employees!

Pirates Still On Top:

Sony may have had the biggest box office of any studio, but Disney definitely had the biggest hit. "Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man's Chest" just came out on DVD, and it had the best week of any DVD this year -- selling 10.5 million DVD's in just seven days... at this rate, it's likely to be the best selling live-action DVD of all time... Not too shabby for Disney considering that the DVD market is slowing.

Studio 60 Parody:

I love the NBC, Aaron Sorkin show, "Studio 60 on the Sunset Strip" but occasionally it can take itself too seriously -- and this YouTube clip just nails it: "Studio 69 on Van Nuys Blvd."

Questions? Comments? MediaMoney@cnbc.com

  • Working from Los Angeles, Boorstin is CNBC's media and entertainment reporter and editor of CNBC.com's Media Money section.