RealTime IT News

NBCi Cuts Workforce

NBCi Thursday eliminated 150 positions to offset a revenue shortfall and reach its goals of profitability by the end of 2001 or early 2002.

The company additionally reset its revenue projections from $150 million to $100 million. Profitability is determined before non-cash items and NBC promotion credits.

"We are determined to reach profitability within the same time frame we reported at the end of the third quarter 2000," said Will Lansing, CEO. "But, to reach this goal, we needed to make difficult decisions on the operational side of our business to account for the challenges within the online advertising market."

Staff positions are being eliminated within all areas of the company; one-third of the company's workforce has been let go.

Lansing's statements contradict an earnings statement released by the company last October. At that time NBCi said it expected to become profitable by the first quarter of 2002, which was sooner than what had been expected.

The company noted that it was becoming profitable sooner because of plans to merge its AllBusiness.com Web site with Bigvine Inc., because it was scaling back international operations and because it had eliminated some jobs.

"The decision to eliminate positions is part of a strategy to bring costs in line with revenues without moving profitability out," noted Roger Maes, a spokesperson for NBCi. "Profitability has always been important to us."

He added that business for the company will continue as usual. "The most important thing we offer is our product," Maes said. "We will continue with our fundamental offerings and will seek added functionality."

NBCi is the latest media company to take a hit. Yesterday cable news channel CNN announced it would lay off 400 employees. Meanwhile News Corp. pulled the plug on its Digital Media Division while the New York Times Co. and Knight-Ridder have had layoffs in their Internet businesses.

At press time, NBCi stock was trading at $4.00, a -4.48 percent change from its opening price.