Microsoft denies reports that it's closing Cinemania site

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Joan Morse, director of marketing for Microsoft Corp.'s Sidewalk, Cinemania and Music Central, Friday called reports that it was closing Cinemania untrue.

"I think we have an unfortunate situation of some misinformation getting out there," Ms. Morse said.

Ms. Morse said Microsoft had ended contracts with 20 contingent workers, who were hired for short-term projects, and "those projects had come to a completion."

"Music Central, Cinemania and Sidewalk are all healthy sites," she said, adding that no full-time employees had been let go, and that the hiring of part-timers is a standard practice at Microsoft.

Variety had reported that Microsoft planned to shutter the movie site, laying off more than half its staff. Included in the layoffs, Variety said, were "Entertainment Tonight" film critic Leonard Maltin, and several members of the edit and marketing departments.

Copyright August 1997, Crain Communications Inc.

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