CNET Begins Layoffs

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Online technology information company CNET Networks Inc. plans to lay off 10 percent of its global work force in a move designed to eliminate redundancies created in October when the company acquired ZDNet, according to reports.

About 190 positions will be pruned from several departments, including marketing, financial services and human resources.

Half of the layoffs were made Tuesday, while other employees will be let go over the next few weeks.

"These are the unfortunate things you have to do as part of business. Given the current economic environment, we think it's the prudent thing to do," CNET chief executive Shelby Bonnie said.

Low ad revenues and shifting market conditions were blamed for the layoffs. A sharp dip in PC sales and an overall slowdown in the technology sector have hurt CNET's clients, Bonnie said.

CNET reported a net fourth-quarter loss of $424.4 million, or $3.16 per share, against income of $224.1 million or $1.65 per diluted share. Analyst earnings estimates were met, according to First Call/Thomson Financial.

CNET also lowered 2001 revenue expectations by $100 million, from between $550 million and $580 million to between $450 million and $480 million.

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