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News > Technology
Disney Internet revamps
May 3, 2001: 5:13 p.m. ET

Online arm of media company plans to offer new ABC.com; expects cost cutting
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NEW YORK (CNNfn) - Walt Disney Internet Group said Thursday it plans to consolidate its operations and launch a revamped version of its ABC.com Web site.

The money-losing Internet Group, which has undergone big layoffs in recent months, will incorporate its entertainment sites, Mr. Showbiz and Wall of Sound along with entertainment news from US Weekly magazine. Disney owns a 50 percent stake in the magazine.

The new site will also feature an enhanced ABCNews.com site with expanded presence on ABC.com.

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Disney (DIS: down $0.29 to $30.96, Research, Estimates) said it anticipates a small number of job cuts among the division's 1,500 employees and that it will incur an unspecified "cost savings" as a result of the restructuring, since most of the content and site operations will be consolidated in Los Angeles.

A company spokeswoman said the cuts would be part of the 4,000 previously announced job cuts it plans to make from the entire company.

"Our objective with the new site is to take full advantage of all the resources of ABC, the Walt Disney Internet Group and Disney's new relationship with US Weekly," said Dick Glover, executive vice president for Internet Media.

The new ABC.com will feature content tied to the day's news along with entertainment information, including programming from its popular "Who Wants to be a Millionaire," its soap operas, prime time and sports shows, the company said.

Disney first announced plans to consolidate Internet operations in January, but provided few details.

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In the dot.com boom, many major media companies spun off Internet ventures in hopes of lucrative public stock offerings.

But as the market's cravings for such deals eased and advertising spending deteriorated, many traditional media companies, including Disney and News Corp. chose instead to integrate traditional media assets with Web properties

Disney's news came as another media company, Viacom Inc. said it would not acquire troubled Internet media company Yahoo! Inc. graphic


from staff and wire reports





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