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TechTV reduces staff by 25 percent

The technology-focused cable channel and Web site joins a throng of Internet publishers scaling back or closing altogether after the dot-com bust.

TechTV, a technology-focused cable channel and Web site, said Friday that it cut 130 positions in a move to slash costs, making it the latest Internet publisher to restructure amid the advertising meltdown.

The San Francisco-based company said the layoffs accounted for 25 percent of its staff and will affect all divisions, effective immediately. TechTV has offices in Seattle, Washington, D.C., and New York. The company said the cutbacks were necessary because of poor economic conditions and the significant downturn in the technology sector.

"The business changes we need to make are difficult and reflect the volatile economy we are all faced with," TechTV CEO Larry Wangberg said in a statement. "We must focus on what is best for our business success, while at the same time do our best to have the least possible affect on our associates."

TechTV, owned by Vulcan Ventures, an investment firm started by Microsoft co-founder Paul Allen, joins a throng of technology publications scaling back or closing altogether after the dot-com bust. The Industry Standard, a zeitgeist during the Internet heyday, filed for bankruptcy and stopped publishing earlier this fall. Image Media sold its technology and finance publication Business 2.0 to eCompany Now.

Separately, magazine publisher Red Herring said Friday that it closed its conference division and will lay off 27 percent of its staff.

TechTV was bought by Vulcan from its founder, Ziff-Davis, in January of 2000. It distributes technology news, entertainment, product reviews and updates on tech stocks to 23 million homes in 70 countries through its TV programming, which coincides with postings on its companion Web site.

In March, TechTV downsized its Web site staff.