Future Network to restructure, cut jobs

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Future Network, the U.K.-based parent company of U.S. publisher Imagine Media, is undergoing an internal restructuring that includes retaining investment banker Morgan Stanley Dean Witter & Co. to explore options for its new economy magazine Business 2.0, it was reported today.

Future also announced plans to cut about 350 jobs and shut down 20 magazines, six of which are based in America.

The move marks a dramatic reversal of Imagine's ambitions in the U.S. Last year, the company launched three titles in America--dance-music magazine Revolution, male-skewed movie title Total Movie, and tech title T3. Today it announced all of them will be shuttered.

Steve Aaron, publishing director of Revolution and Total Movie, said that the company had planned for those magazines to be profitable in three years. "The magazines hit the markets in stride and were doing really well," he said. "I think they just ran out of money ... it was a matter of having the capacity to wait it out." The April issues of those magazines will be their last.

Business 2.0, like other new economy titles, got fat on tech ads last year and then slimmed down to more manageable sizes recently. In January, according to Publishers Information Bureau, its ad pages decreased 22.5%. Since last year's wave of tech advertising receded, it's repeatedly been the subject of sale rumors.

Copyright February 2001, Crain Communications Inc.

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