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iVillage slashes staff

The women-oriented Web company is cutting nearly half its staff, just days after it completed its merger with former rival

    iVillage is cutting nearly half of its staff, just days after it completed its merger with former rival

    The layoffs, which will shrink the staff of the combined companies from about 350 to less than 200, come on top of two previous rounds of job cuts at and iVillage in the last two months. The latest cuts are part of an attempt to rein in costs and reach profitability, company representatives said.

    "This is being done to align expenses with revenue to achieve our stated financial goals," said iVillage spokesman Carl Fischer.

    Last month, iVillage notified 70 of's 207 employees that they would be losing their jobs if the two companies completed their merger. As part of the merger, which the companies finalized earlier this week, iVillage laid off more than 80 additional employees. cut 85 jobs--a quarter of its staff at the time--late last year. In April, iVillage cut about 30 jobs as a result of a decline in advertising spending.

    Advertising-dependent Web sites have been hit hard by the economic downturn, forcing many to cut back operations and staff. After reporting a year-over-year decline in revenue and earnings for the first quarter, portal bellwether Yahoo, for instance, cut 12 percent of its staff--its first-ever work force reduction.

    The job cuts at iVillage will not target any particular area of the company, but will affect departments throughout, Fischer said. iVillage workers will receive severance packages, though Fischer declined to state details of what they will receive. iVillage will take a charge of a "couple" million dollars related to the job cuts.

    In the wake of the layoffs and the merger, iVillage said it expects to reach profitability excluding interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization by the third quarter of this year.

    iVillage shares closed down 4 cents on Thursday to $1.28 in regular trading. In after-hours trading on the Island ECN, iVillage shares were up 2 cents to $1.30.