Web Studio ManiaTV Cuts Jobs

Digital Studio Cuts 30% of Work Force

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Online television network ManiaTV slashed 20 jobs, representing nearly 30% of the fledgling Web studio's work force.

The layoffs come as part of a reorganization at ManiaTV under which the company will rely on third-party producers and contractors to produce new shows, rather than keeping a large production staff on payroll. The cutbacks bring the company to 50 employees from 70, with 15 cuts in production and five in the tech department, ManiaTV said. "While it is never pleasant to cut staff or eliminate some show projects that have yet to see the light of day, today's economic climate simply requires a more frugal approach to business," ManiaTV CEO Peter Hoskins said in a statement.

In its statement, ManiaTV said the reductions will keep the company on track to achieve profitability by the second quarter of 2009. To reach that goal, ManiaTV will apply new financial standards to its shows.

"While ManiaTV is accelerating the strategy to involve third-party producers, they will focus increased attention on the most popular, profitable and successful shows," the company said. "The network, which has a policy of only releasing shows that are profitable, has cut the budgets for experimental, unsponsored productions. The cuts will not impact the network's plans to release new episodes for most existing shows and in many cases the network has produced a backlog of content to last through February."

ManiaTV said it has landed deals with more than 85 blue-chip advertisers and has raised more than $26 million in venture funding.
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