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Advice site eHow cuts over half its work force

The company, backed by high-profile venture capitalists, lays off more than 50 percent of its staff and is restructuring to cut costs.

Advice site eHow, backed by high-profile venture capitalists including Hummer Winblad Venture Partners, said Monday it laid off more than 50 percent of its staff and is restructuring to lower costs.

Responding to rumors, eHow confirmed the cutbacks to a CNET News.com reporter who visited its offices in San Francisco on Monday afternoon. eHow previously had declined to return repeated phone calls.

"We have decided to reduce our operating expenses so that we can focus our energies, leverage our core-content assets, and meet the developing opportunities afforded us by the marketplace," according to a statement that was handed to the reporter and attributed to eHow chief executive Courtney Rosen.

Company spokeswoman Kristen Sager confirmed that "we've laid off more than half of our staff" as of Friday. But she would not elaborate.

After the restructuring is completed, eHow said it plans to market its content across other media outlets. For instance, eHow intends to publish a book with Simon & Schuster.

eHow has raised as much as $23.5 million from investors such as Hummer Winblad, Media Technology Ventures and GE Financial Assurance, a General Electric subsidiary, according to the company's Web site.

Its management includes people from Visa, Nestle, PeopleSoft, Wells Fargo, Andersen Consulting and Gap.

News.com's Greg Sandoval contributed to this report.