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Webnoize quietly suspends its operations

The company, which published news and research about trends in online music, will "re-emerge in early 2002," according to a notice posted on its site.

Webnoize, a Web publication and event planner that focused on the online entertainment industry, has suspended operations in an attempt to restructure its business, according to a notice on its Web site.

The company will "re-emerge in early 2002 with new and improved events, products and services," the notice read, without offering a definitive date.

A representative for the company could not be reached for comment.

Webnoize's decision signals another casualty in the contracting arena for online music. Companies have been scaling back their online efforts during the past few weeks. Bertelsmann last week announced the resignation of Andreas Schmidt, its maverick head of e-commerce and an architect of the media giant's Napster investment.

Rumors that Webnoize would shut down altogether had been circulating after its poorly attended annual conference in October, which used to be a big draw and were considered one of the top gatherings of the industry. This year's turnout was a fraction of what it had drawn in previous years, according to participants.

Webnoize published news and research about trends in online music. In particular, the company took an interest in covering the rapid growth of peer-to-peer music swapping services such as Napster, Kazaa, MusicCity and Grokster.