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Tech publisher to cut 350 jobs, halt some titles

Hoping to reduce costs in the face of sagging ad sales, Future Network says it will cut 350 jobs, close some publications, and explore future options for Business 2.0.

    Hoping to reduce costs in the face of sagging ad sales, Future Network said Friday that it will cut 350 jobs, close some publications, and explore future options for New Economy magazine Business 2.0.

    The company, which publishes 134 titles, said it will close 20 unprofitable magazines, including new music publication Revolution and the U.S. edition of tech gear magazine T3. The titles being closed accounted for 7 percent of the company's revenue in 2000; the job cuts amount to about 18 percent of the Bath, England-based company's staff.

    Future also said it has hired Morgan Stanley Dean Witter to help it consider strategies for Business 2.0, which could include its sale.

    Just a year ago, New Economy magazines were flush with ads and testing new high-tech advertising options. In March of last year, Future Network issued a press release trumpeting a slew of new Business 2.0 hires and promising "continued aggressive expansion."

    But the dot-com bust that began in April has led to sluggish ad sales, hitting New Economy magazines and Web sites that rely on ads particularly hard. Business 2.0's closest competitors have had their share of job cuts in recent months. Red Herring has gone through two rounds of layoffs. CNET Networks, publisher of News.com, recently announced it would reduce its work force by 10 percent. And The Industry Standard is expected to cut 65 jobs in continuing efforts to streamline its staff.

    "On a personal level, I'm deeply disappointed we are now having to cut back our efforts and let people go," Future Network Chairman Chris Anderson said in a statement. "But tougher times require tough measures, and this is the absolutely right decision for Future."

    CNET Networks has a stake in Red Herring Communications.