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Wired to cancel Pop site

Wired Ventures plans to fold its Pop entertainment site and lays off a handful of workers at its other online sites, CNET has learned.

Seven weeks after its initial public offering failed, Wired Ventures plans to fold its Pop entertainment site and has laid off a handful of workers at its other online sites, CNET has learned.

Pop, an entertainment site for HotWired, will close December 13, and its remaining staff will be integrated into the company's Wired News site, according to Don Markley, a Wired spokesman. He added that staff members will continue to write entertainment stories and that the site was canceled as the company focuses on the news service.

Markley, however, declined to comment on layoffs at the online sites.

In the past two weeks, one online editor and two employees from Webmonkey, a tech review site, were laid off, said employees at the company.

Wired Online is not folding and still maintains a staff, Markley said. "It's business as usual with site development and content development," he said.

Markley declined to comment on the company's financial health and whether it has found investors to finance the company.

In October, Wired Ventures canceled its planned IPO, which would have valued the company at $292.6 million. The company had lowered its share price to the $8-to-$10 range from the $12-to-$14 range before it scrapped its public offering for a second time this year.

The company lost $42.8 million during the first nine months, compared with a loss of $3.3 million a year ago. In its IPO registration filing, the company had said it expected operating expenses to outstrip revenues at least through the end of 1997.