Modem Media Continues Staff Reduction

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Modem Media Inc., one of the pioneers among interactive agencies, is continuing to eliminate staff as the industry consolidates at a rapid rate.


The Norwalk, CT, shop reportedly sacked 40 workers, or 4.8 percent of its staff.


Only last month, Modem Media reported first-quarter revenue of $33.4 million, up 17 percent from the year-ago period, though down 5 percent from fourth-quarter 2000 revenue of $35.2 million.


The agency did not immediately comment on the layoffs.


These layoffs come on the heels of massive job cuts announced earlier this month at Agency.com. The New York interactive shop will lay off 350 workers, nearly one-fourth of its global work force.


As part of the Agency.com announcement, company founders Kyle Shannon and Chan Suh will sell their shares in the firm to a holding company formed last month by Omnicom Group Inc., New York, and Pegasus Partners II, a Greenwich, CT, investment company.


Shannon and Suh will remain in their positions as chief people officer and chairman/CEO, respectively.


Omnicom is an investor in Agency.com. The new holding company, called Seneca Investments, controls shares in interactive agencies such as Razorfish, Organic and Agency.com. Seneca's interest in Agency.com is now 66 percent, up from 45 percent.


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