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Published on .

Britannica.com said it will cut 68 staffers or approximately 30 percent of the staff, the majority of which work for the free Britannica.com consumer site. Layoffs will take place between now and June.

Britannica, which has been plagued with cutbacks, said the staff reductions were part of its new focus on subscription-supported products, which it hopes will bring the company to profitability faster than relying on online ad revenue, which has taken a hit. In keeping with this plan, the company said it plans to speed up release of BritannicaSchool.com, a Web-based service for grade school through high school students that was scheduled for release this summer. It's also exploring other premium services.

Copyright March 2001, Crain Communications Inc.

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