Fox Interactive Media planning deep layoffs; bad news continues

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pinkslips_small.jpgADOTAS — While optimists see the light at the end of the tunnel, the continued online tech news appears to show darkness all around.

Another company, Fox Interactive Media, is planning for deep layoffs, and the overall tech job market is still being hit hard with no end in sight. Job web site Dice.com says, according to a survey of HR executives and recruiters, that 81 percent of businesses said that they are scaling back their hiring of information-technology pros. This along with the shedding of startups by Internet and media companies worsens that landscape.

For ads, the Interactive Advertising Bureau now says that online advertising revenues in the U.S., which was at $5.5 billion for the first quarter of 2009, saw a decline of 5 percent over the same period in 2008.

So are we at the bottom? I don’t think so.

UPDATE: SIA has a memo from News Corp digital head Jon Miller:

Everyone,Since coming on board, it’s no secret that I have asked each of the executive teams within FIM to conduct a comprehensive strategic review of their businesses to ensure that we are operating as efficiently and effectively as possible. These reviews have included a very close look at our costs and a full examination of our resource allocation – an important exercise that will help us determine whether our resources are aligned properly with our business priorities. This process is still ongoing and we will be communicating the details of the reviews as the results become available.

One immediate result is that we have determined that we will not be moving to Playa Vista. After taking many different factors into account, we have decided that the best plan for our businesses is to remain in our current locations for the near future. We’re making great progress building strong standalone businesses at each of our LA locations, and the last thing we want to do is to interfere with that momentum. In addition, the realities of the current economy make the prospects of a move incredibly expensive, a fact that I believe makes this decision not only good for our working environments, but also for our bottom line.

As I mentioned above, the strategic reviews are ongoing and I assure you that our executive teams are working as quickly as possible to determine what – if any – additional decisions will be made and we will communicate with all of you as frequently as possible in this regard.

Best,
Jon

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