Pseudo TV, real layoffs

Axing chat reduced need for manpower

Pseudo Programs (www.pseudo.com) recently made some real changes, trimming their staff and redesigning their business plans to streamline programming and distribution costs. The Gotham-based company laid off 58 of its employees, or roughly 25% of its total roster.

“We let people go because we changed our approach to production,” says senior veep Jeanne Meyer.

Pseudo replaced the 10 channels of interactive streaming programming it originally offered with a single channel called Pseudo Center, which currently runs from 2 p.m. until midnight, Mondays through Fridays.

Abandoning their strategy for a single live chat forum significantly reduced their labor need. “We unfortunately eliminated a lot of very talented set designers, carpenters and stagehands,” Meyers says. “Our new approach eliminated the need for those positions.”

Downsizing the company “freed up money for marketing.” Now Pseudo advertises with NBCi, Excite Broadband and Time Warner’s Road Runner. Meyer advises other ambitious onliners to remember that “it’s tough enough to promote one brand, let alone 10 separate ones.”

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