ICast trims amid refocus

Cyberbiz Brief

As it broadens its online entertainment offerings, iCast is realizing it needs staffers with an entertainment background to make things work.

The Netcaster on Friday laid off 30 employees. Company, a division of Web giant CMGI, employed 250 prior to the pink slips. Those effected were mostly in technical and editorial posts and had no background in entertainment.

ICast already broadcasts Web radio, short films, MP3s and features a downloadable player that plays CDs, MP3s and live video streams. ICast veep of public relations Stu Zakim said that the company planned to fill the vacated posts with members of the entertainment community.

“We know the business we want to be in, and we’re streamlining,” Zakim said. “We’re not shutting down. In fact, we’ll be stronger as a result. We had people who had nothing to do because they didn’t know how to do it.”

ICast last week said it is launching new comedy division iCast Comedy and tapped former MP3.com exec Joe Fleischer to head its music arm.

Layoffs come as nearly 280 staffers have been let go from entertainment dot-coms, including Pop, Bluetorch, Shockwave, AtomicPop and Scour.

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