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Sat 27 Jan 2001 04:00 AM

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Publishers feel the dot-com freeze

Three major global publishers are trimming employee numbers and cutting costs at their online operations in a bid to reach profitability more quickly

The cruel winds of reality continue to blow across the world's dot-com industry. In recent weeks, there have been significant changes at the online entities of three major US publishers: The New York Times, Rupert Murdoch's News Corp and Knight Ridder.New York Times Digital has cut sixty-nine positions, the equivalent of 17% of its workforce. It believes the staff reductions will help it attain profitability more quickly. "We continue to be confident about the future of NYTD and about the utility of the Internet as an additional medium through which we can profitably serve our customers, both readers and advertisers," said Russell T. Lewis, president and CEO of The New York Times Co., in a statement.News Corp. has closed down its online division with the loss of more than 200 jobs. Control of three major Web sites will be transferred back to their own television networks: Fox Broadcasting Company, Fox Sports Television Group and Fox News Channel.KnightRidder.com shed 68 of its 420 workers in an effort to cut its losses. At the same time, it's also creating 34 new sales jobs. The company publishes several newspapers, magazines, TV stations and radio stations.

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