February 15, 2001 1:50 PM PST

CNBC cuts online, offline staff

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NBCi lays off 150, cites online-advertising slowdown

January 18, 2001
Business TV news network CNBC said Thursday it has reduced its network staff by 4 percent and CNBC.com staff by 26 percent, making it the latest media company to include layoffs in cost-cutting measures.

The reductions come after last week's announcement that the TV network and CNBC.com are consolidating. Paul Capelli, vice president of public relations at CNBC, said there were about 520 staff members at the network and 100 people at the online unit before the layoffs.

Capelli said the 26 percent reduction at CNBC.com affect full-time staff members. Freelance staff was also reduced.

"Because of the current environment, we've been looking at cost expenses, and we're looking at cutting back," Capelli said. "Our business is solid, and our ad revenues are solid. It's just that this is part of an NBC unit. Everyone is experiencing reductions across the board."

Last month, NBC Internet slashed about 150 positions. The company said the layoffs affected about 30 percent of the company's work force, with cuts coming from various departments. CNET Networks, publisher of News.com, has a stake in NBCi.

CNBC is owned by TV network NBC, which is owned by General Electric.

The layoffs follow shifts at CNBC's executive level. Pamela Thomas-Graham, formerly president and chief executive of CNBC.com, was appointed CNBC's president and chief operating officer. Bill Bolster, who was president of CNBC, was named chairman and CEO of the network.

About two years ago, CNBC increased its online efforts by launching a revamped Web site that recreated its TV version.

However, many online and offline media companies have been paralyzed by a slowing online advertising market. Companies pulling back include News Corp., which closed its Digital Media Division; The New York Times Co.; CNN and Knight-Ridder.

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