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iCast Streamlines, Cuts 30 Jobs

iCAST (http://www.icast.com) confirmed today that it cut about 30 jobs in a variety of positions throughout the company.

Stu Zakim, VP of public relations at iCast said that they were just "refocusing" direction and stressed that this was no way a sign of trouble for the CMGI-backed company.

"We're truly streamlining," said Zakim. "We're getting the right people doing their jobs."

The layoffs come just a week after CMGI announced it is planning on cutting the number of its operating companies from 17 to about 5-10.

Although often called a content company, iCAST is mostly an aggregator since it still gets its content from third parties. Zakim says it will eventually produce its own original programming but won't "fall into the trap" of other companies, referring to DEN, Pop.com and other high profile content failures this year.

Zakim says iCAST is trying to get more people with entertainment backgrounds rather than Internet people. "Entertainment people know how to the enter the maze," he says. Last month, iCAST announced that it hired entertainment veteran Fred Siegel as senior VP of Marketing and Corporate Strategy. Seigel comes from Excite@Home and the QVC shopping channel. Tomorrow, iCAST will announce a new head of its iCAST Music, although Zakim declined to give specifics.

Despite the cutbacks, iCAST is clearly moving forward. In early August, iCAST re-launched adding more content and focusing on Internet radio music. Zakim says that iCAST will focus more on community building, letting users upload their audio and videos. It even plans to launch a comedy channel soon, starting with a fall college tour.

Zakim says no one from the comedy team was among the laid off today, however. He says iCAST has been on "hyperdrive" recently ballooning from 50 to over 250 employees. "[The layoffs] are a positive step," he says. "We know where we want to go now."

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