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Prodigy cuts staff to move to the Web

Prodigy has laid off 115 of its 680 employees to cut costs as part of its effort to move to the Web.

Prodigy has laid off 115 of its 680 employees to cut costs as part of its effort to move to the Web.

"This morning we eliminated close to 100 positions. This company was built in the '80s under a very different corporate structure, a structure that made sense at the time. The competitive environment has changed, and as we're moving from a proprietary online service to an Internet-based platform, we realize certain tasks have become duplicative, and others are no longer part of our future business plan," CEO Ed Bennett said in a statement to Prodigy employees yesterday.

The company is expecting to convert the service to the Web soon, but officials declined to comment on particulars. "I can't say when we are moving to the Web, but we are launching four or five new sites next month," a spokeswoman said.

Converting to the Web is the logical next step for Prodigy, according to some analysts. "This has been a very difficult transition for them, and it has definitely taken a very long time to get there in an industry that changes by the second," said Nate Zelnick, an analyst with Mecklermedia. "They [Prodigy] will survive, but the question is, 'What will they survive as'?"

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