Europe spared from Industry Standard job cuts

Successful technology-centred news magazine cites slower growth prospects for 2001

The Industry Standard, the weekly magazine covering the high-tech industry, said Monday it will cut 36 jobs in the US, about 7 percent of its workforce, because of gloomier prospects for the coming year. The magazine's publisher, Standard Media International, said the job cuts will hit marketing, conference and online divisions.

Standard Media Europe, the UK subsidiary launched late last year to publish The Industry Standard Europe, said the layoffs will not affect Europe. "We will continue to operate as normal," said a spokeswoman. Standard Media International is itself a subsidiary of publishing house IDG.

The company was founded by John Battelle, former editor at Wired Magazine. One of the more successful magazines in recent years, which calls itself the "news magazine of the Internet economy", saw its advertising revenue for the first 11 months of the year soar nearly fourfold to $150m (about £102m) compared with the corresponding period of last year, according to the Publishers Information Bureau.

Its total advertising pages for the period jumped three-and-a-half times to 7,129, according to the trade group.

"Based on our projections for the coming year, the job cuts were made in order to operate at peak efficiency," spokeswoman Alissa Niel said. "We are profitable, but we do not expect the kind of growth we've seen in the past year."

The magazine's rate base, or guaranteed circulation, -- a key measure for advertisers -- is around 200,000, Neil said, up from 125,000 a year ago. "The Standard is evolving from start-up phase to established company and we have realigned our organisational structure accordingly," said Standard Media chief executive Battelle.

None of the cutbacks are coming from its editorial division.

Despite the strong performance of the weekly magazine, its monthly spinoff, Grok, was shuttered after only five months, citing weaker advertising sales. The company, which is based in San Francisco, recently teamed up with Kurt Andersen's media news Web site to launch a monthly magazine on the media business called Inside. Neil said the layoffs at The Industry Standard had no impact on that magazine.

Many media companies have felt the pinch of slower growth expectations for magazines in 2001. Last week, Hachette Filipacchi announced it was shutting down George, the political magazine founded by the late John F Kennedy Jr, citing lack of advertising support.

Red Herring Communications, one of The Industry Standard's rivals, said in December it would eliminate 32 jobs, or 10 percent of its staff, on top of 25 announced in October.

Reuters contributed to this report.

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