Update: September 11, 2000
Publishing Unit Flames Out
the crew at Broadband Interactive Group just did a good job
at pretending that they were in no real hurry to generate revenue,
but everyone thought they would be the ones to capitalize on the
long game. Their mix of TV, Internet, and print seemed like the
right idea. And while few were impressed with either their print
magazines or Internet site,
everyone saw that they were making progress each month.
from the TV show, however, all that flamed out on Monday, September
11, 2000 when about 64 people from Irvine's Number 5 Park Place
were asked to pack up their stuff and leave the building by 2 PM
or be escorted out by police.
"They didn't even give me a chance to call any freelance people
and let them know they should quit working on projects," one
employee said. "They shut down the network and wouldn't even
let us get access to our computers to get our phone lists."
The mood on the 17th floor was somber as people carried cardboard
boxes, and rolled dollies full of their personal effects out to
the elevator and waited for the ride down. Conversations were quiet
and friendly. "Well," said one employee. "It was
fun. Keep in touch."
Visitors to the office were met with wayward glances. "The
vultures have arrived," said one acquaintance. "What,
did you come by to gloat?"
On the wall in the lobby was a whiteboard that had been used to
welcome new employees. It said, "Broadband Interactive Group
welcomes the new associate editor of Swerve." It also listed
three or four others who had recently been hired.
The reason for the layoffs? BIG needs to shift its resources to
the Bluetorch TV show because the head guys believe that
TV will be the fastest way to profitability. Of course, the main
men were former TV guys so it kind of makes sense. At least they
learned that you really can't run a website like a TV network.
As for the future for Bluetorch? The company plans to focus on the
TV show and use the webpage to support it. Currently they are looking
to fill approximately 35 positions in the TV group which will be
headquartered in their new building.
Employees who were laid off were given the opportunity to apply
for jobs with the TV group, but some were feeling a little too bitter
to consider it at the moment. They all have two months of full pay
and six months of insurance so they do have some time to think things
One employee stopped to speak with the receptionist on his way out.
"Lisa, I'm going to miss it," he said, his voice wavering.
"But I'm not going to miss the commute."
By 2:15 the whiteboard in the lobby had been altered. Someone had
erased the list of new hires and replaced it with some gallows humor,
"Broadband Interactive Group says beat it kooks," it read.
"And don't let the door hit you in the ass."
One question still hangs in everyone's minds: who is next.
ASR Coverage on ExtremeSports.com
The Way to the Forum
X Games Bigger than Superbowl
Wife Called Out on Anti-Violence
Bags o' Crapola:
9 , 2000
18 , 2000
11 , 2000
Special thanks: to Jim Romenesko's MediaGossip.com.