Jobs cut as Emap halves Internet investment

Twenty percent of Web staff at UK publisher face the chop as online activity is scaled back

UK publishing house Emap announced on Tuesday that it is to cut up to 100 jobs and reduce investment in its Internet operations.

The company had previously planned to spend £50m on digital projects in the coming financial year, but it now plans to spend only half that. It announced the reduction to staff in a meeting today, although it has not yet said where the jobs cuts will take place. Analysts believe that around 20 percent of Emap's 500-strong online workforce are likely to be axed.

"We are committed to the digital business but it would be irresponsible to plough on with projects irrespective," said chief executive Kevin Hand on Tuesday as he explained that a number of Emap's Web sites will either be closed or scaled back.

Emap runs over twenty Web sites including whatsonstage.com, thebox.co.uk and escaperoutes.com. Emap warned the City that the reduction in its digital operations was likely to cost the firm around £10m.

The news of Emap's job cuts came a day after GlobalNetFinance announced that fifty jobs were to go from the UK-Invest.com Web site. Fifteen redundancies are expected from its UK operations. Ron Goldie, chief executive officer of GlobalNetFinance, explained that people had been using UK-Invest for stock quotes and share tracking tools, rather than to read news.

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