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SPACE.com Replaces COO

In a story that's becoming all too common for Silicon Alley start-up SPACE.com, the space multimedia company Friday unveiled a management reorganization. The latest reorganization has John C. Ferrara, chief financial officer of the company, moving up to chief operating officer and succeeding Mitchell Cannold who held the post for more than a year.

The company also promoted Richard Zeller to senior vice president, Business Affairs.

SPACE.com has seen its share of turnover since its founding: two presidents -- including Sally Ride, the first American woman in space -- at least four vice presidents and numerous staffers have left the company created by Rich Zahradnik and Lou Dobbs, former CNNfn president and long-time host of CNN's Moneyline. Zahradnik himself, once the company's president and COO, was one of those departures.

The company said Friday's reorganization will aid it in its aim to achieve future growth and profitability.

"John Ferrara and Robert Zeller are both very talented executives who have helped build SPACE.com and possess the experience and leadership to advance SPACE.com to the next level," said Dobbs, the company's chairman and chief executive officer. "We wish Mitchell Cannold the best of luck in his future endeavors and thank him for his diligent efforts on behalf of SPACE.com.

The move comes three days after SPACE.com laid off an undisclosed number of employees. The company said the cuts were necessary following the recent acquisitions of the Space News newspaper, spacenews.com and Florida Today's Space Online site. Last September, SPACE.com laid off 22 of its then 108 employees -- about 20 percent of its staff -- as part of a company-wide restructuring.

The reorganization also comes on the heels of a survey by Media Metrix which found the site logged only 357,000 unique visitors in October, down sharply from 575,000 in July. But Dobbs has rejected Media Metrix's findings, citing his own log files, which he said recorded 700,000 unique visitors in October.