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CMGI's iCast lays off 30 employees

The entertainment site lays off more than 10 percent of its work force amid departmental changes aimed at future growth, a company spokesman says.

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CMGI-owned entertainment site iCast has laid off 30 employees, or more than 10 percent of its work force, the company said today.

The layoffs, which happened last Thursday, occurred around the same time that CMGI's Web search site AltaVista cut 25 percent of its work force to refocus its business. CMGI, which owns and invests in a diverse pool of Internet companies, has recently undergone its own restructuring and has pledged to speed profitability among the companies it operates.

iCast has 220 employees after the layoffs.

A spokesman for the entertainment site said the staff cuts are coincidental to CMGI's restructuring plan. He added that the layoffs have been expected for a few months, and that the company will continue hiring.

"We're in less of a building mode now and more in operations mode," said Bill Golden, the iCast spokesman.

The iCast layoffs come as several online entertainment companies have stumbled and pulled back or reshaped their plans.

Shockwave.com, which hosts animation and music clips, this month said it would lay off 20 of its 170 employees to concentrate on interactive games and films.

Pop.com, an online entertainment start-up backed by Hollywood heavyweights Steven Spielberg and Ron Howard, announced earlier this month it was shutting its doors before launching. Digital Entertainment Network closed in May.

iCast's Golden said the company's reorganization does not signal difficulties, explaining that the layoffs mainly resulted in departmental changes and personnel adjustments aimed at future growth.

iCast hosts short films and animation, music and video clips, and other entertainment-oriented content on its Web site. The company recently launched a comedy channel and signed comedian Janeane Garofalo as its spokeswoman.