Individual kills Freeloader

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Individual Inc. is shuttering its Freeloader push technology service, eliminating 28 staff positions. Individual had sought for months to sell Freeloader; at one point a few months ago, a sale was reportedly near. Instead, the company said it will use multiple channels, including Microsoft Corp.'s Active Desktop and Lanacom's Headliner service, to distribute content from its news service, NewsPage.

Individual acquired Freeloader last year for an estimated $38 million. But it struggled to find a positioning for the company, founded by Mark Pincus and Sunil Paul. Individual said the closure of the service will reduce its operating expenses by about $1 million per quarter.

Individual said it will keep a few Freeloader staffers on to work with a new broadcast applications group. Mark Langley will manage the efforts as director of personal broadcast technology; he had been a program manager with MSNBC.

Copyright May 1997, Crain Communications Inc.

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