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24/7 Media Engages in More Restructuring

Less than two weeks after President and Chief Operations Officer Tom Detmer stepped down from his posts at 24/7 Media, the online ad network Thursday said it would trim 100 staffers and close some offices.

The goal, of course, is to streamline closer to the path to profitability, a road that has become increasingly narrow for companies, including Yahoo! and DoubleClick Inc.

24/7 Media spokesperson Mitchell Simmons told InternetNews.com the job cuts, which will save the company $10 million in annual costs, were across the board and would not reveal which offices would be shuttered or downsized. The tightening has left the firm with about 850 employees.

The company, which fuses advertising and technology to offer businesses ad serving, promotions and e-mail list management, among other things, also said Tony Plesner, formerly senior vice president of strategic planning, will helm the COO position Detmer vacated in March.

"With the appointment of Tony Plesner to the COO position and the streamlining of the organization, 24/7 Media is positioning itself to capitalize on the $6 billion online ad market for 2001 and the recovery of the interactive marketing and advertising industries in general," said David J. Moore, chief executive officer of 24/7 Media.

But more restructuring is afoot as additional 24/7 Media veterans have been named to the following positions: Geoff Judge, senior vice president of national sales, will be responsible for all U.S. Sales; Michael Rowsom, general manager of 24/7 Mail, will be responsible for e-mail list management and brokerage; and Will Tifft, general manager of the 24/7 Network, will be responsible for promoting Web sites associated with the 24/7 Media Network.

The company is also considering the sale of certain assets to reach profitability, but did not say which.

In related news, R. Theodore Ammon, the non-executive chairman of the 24/7 Media's board of directors, has resigned from the board.

Shares of 24/7 Media actually closed up 2 cents on the day, at 34 cents. The outfit's stock had actually treaded 52-week lows of nearly 19 cents and is down 98 percent from its year-ago level of $21-1/8.

24/7 Media is feeling the same pressure as others in the battered online advertising market. New York's DoubleClick Inc. Thursday announced earnings, and while the company's loss of 8 cents per share beat the 9-cent estimate from Thomson Financial/First Call analysts, the firm also stated that it expected even poorer results in the second quarter.

Santa Clara, Calif.-based Yahoo! Inc.'s earnings announcement Wednesday was bittersweet at best. While the giant portal announced a loss of only 2 cents per share, it also axed employees for the first time due to the lagging economy. Yahoo! shaved 420 positions, or 12 percent of its work force.