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Newspaper group shutters doors

New Century Network is being dissolved, less than two weeks after the partnership trimmed its workforce and laid out a new strategy.

New Century Network is being dissolved, less than two weeks after the partnership trimmed its workforce and laid out a new strategy.

As a result, the online consortium--founded by nine major newspaper companies to promote their papers on the Internet--will cease operations immediately.

"We were unable to agree on a business plan that would receive the support of enough partners to move forward," the company's board of directors said in a statement today. "The challenge of concurrently finding a common strategy for NCN in this fast-changing marketplace to accommodate the differing needs of the more than 140 newspapers represented by the owners and NCN affiliates has proved too daunting."

The breakup follows a reduction of 20 employees, the second round of layoffs this year. The consortium also outlined a new strategy recently aimed at focusing the business on selling advertising across the network of newspaper Web sites and providing related services to the more than 140 affiliate papers.

New Century Network's NewsWorks service originally was billed as an aggregation and distribution operation for media conglomerates like Gannett, Hearst, the New York Times Company, and the Washington Post Company.

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