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Web Video Sees Layoffs

Oct 26, 2008  •  Post A Comment

Online video network Break Media said Thursday that it let 11 employees go. Break emphasized that the cutbacks are not due to the economic downturn but are part of the ordinary course of business.
CEO Keith Richman said he plans to hire back those positions in other departments, and added that Break is a profitable business.
The reorganization is designed to focus Break on the fastest-growing segments of the business, he said.
A day earlier, online television network ManiaTV slashed 20 jobs, representing nearly 30% of the fledgling Web studio’s workforce.
As part of a reorganization, ManiaTV will rely on third-party producers and contractors to produce new shows, rather than keeping a large production staff on payroll.
The cutbacks bring the company to 50 employees from 70, with 15 cuts in production and five in the tech department, ManiaTV said.
“While it is never pleasant to cut staff or eliminate some show projects that have yet to see the light of day, today’s economic climate simply requires a more frugal approach to business,” ManiaTV Chief Executive Officer Peter Hoskins said in a statement.
In its statement, ManiaTV said the reductions will keep the company on track to achieve profitability by the second quarter of 2009.
To reach that goal, ManiaTV will apply new financial standards to its shows. “The network, which has a policy of only releasing shows that are profitable, has cut the budgets for experimental, unsponsored productions. The cuts will not impact the network’s plans to release new episodes for most existing shows, and in many cases the network has produced a backlog of content to last through February,” the statement said.
ManiaTV said it has landed deals with more than 85 blue-chip advertisers and has raised more than $26 million in venture funding.
Other companies that have made staff cuts recently include Heavy.com, the male-centric publisher and ad network, which laid off a dozen staffers Oct. 17 and also saw a round of cuts in June; online video-sharing site Veoh, which cut 15 or 40% of its staff last week; and online giant Yahoo, whose CEO Jerry Yang said in a conference call last week that it will reduce headcount by at least 10%, or 1,400-plus, by the end of this year.

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