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Rash of Pink Slips at Load Media Network

May 22, 2000|KAREN KAPLAN

Digital Entertainment Network wasn't the only entertainment Web site scaling down last week.

A few days before DEN ran out of cash and closed its doors, Los Angeles-based Load Media Network laid off 42 of its 97 employees so that the company could concentrate on its Loadtv software.

Loadtv lets PCs download high-quality video in the background while PC users are surfing the Web. When users are ready to watch the video, they can do so without worrying about the network congestion that often stymies traditional streaming video broadcasts.

The Load Media employees who were let go last Monday had focused on creating and gathering content that could be displayed on the Loadtv system. But Chief Executive Jack Kennedy, who has been with the company for six weeks, said it no longer made sense for Load to invest resources in developing programs when so many other start-ups are working on that full-time.

"Internet content companies are being scrutinized at a much greater level now than they ever were before," Kennedy said. In contrast, infrastructure companies that develop technology are much more attractive to investors, he said.

Load Media's investors include grocery magnate Ron Burkle and Interscope Records co-founder Ted Field.

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