Ziff Davis shuts down, cuts more staffers

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New York--Hammered by the downturn in the technology sector, Ziff Davis Media Inc. has cut 25 more staffers and shut down two operations, including, a streaming video operation that failed to take flight. Unable to find a buyer, Ziff also killed the consumer-driven FamilyPC magazine. Six people have been let go due to the demise of, with 19 other staff cuts from Interactive Week and eWeek (formerly known as PC Week). Since the beginning of the year Ziff has laid off about 200 people. Its work force has held steady at about 1,000 because of new hires for three recent launches: Expedia Travels, CIO Insight and Net Economy. "It's a tough market and our goal is to bring costs in line with the market," said Elizabeth Estroff, Ziff Davis spokeswoman. "ZCast was a product before its time. Streaming media hasn't taken off and it would be too expensive to invest in the product." Despite Ziff's woes, industry observers said not to count out Ziff CEO Jim Dunning. "Never underestimate Mr. Dunning," said one source, who requested anonymity. "He's a terrific marketer and sales person." Still, the source said that with many of Ziff's titles losing many ad pages "it will difficult for him to realize the values he wants based on the performance of his properties and general economic conditions." For the first half of 2001 Ziff's total ad pages were down 30% compared with the same period in 2000, to 2,444 from 3,513, according to the Publishers Information Bureau. Ad revenue for the first half of 2001 fell 19%, to $161 million from $198 million.
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