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NBCi lays off 150, cites online-advertising slowdown

The cost-cutting layoffs affect about 30 percent of the company's work force, with cuts coming from various departments.

    NBC Internet on Thursday said it is cutting about 150 positions in a move to reduce costs amid an increasingly soft online-advertising market.

    The layoffs will affect about 30 percent of the company's work force, with cuts coming from various departments. At its peak last summer, the company employed 950 people.

    NBCi hopes the cost reductions will offset a revenue shortfall the company expects resulting from the slowdown in the online advertising market. The company is reducing its revenue projections for 2001 to approximately $100 million, compared with its previous projection of $150 million.

    NBCi said it still expects to become profitable before noncash charges and television promotions with NBC in the fourth quarter of 2001 or the first quarter of 2002.

    NBCi joins a growing list of media companies facing cutbacks in recent weeks as the advertising slowdown takes its toll. On Wednesday, cable news channel CNN announced it would lay off 400 employees, or 10 percent of its staff, with its interactive division accounting for a third of the cuts.

    News Corp. pulled the plug on its Digital Media Division earlier this month. The New York Times Co. and Knight-Ridder have also felt the pain, leading to layoffs in their Internet businesses.

    CNN said its layoffs were not advertising related.

    CNET Networks, publisher of News.com, has a stake in NBCi.