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Gore-Backed Current TV Lays Off 60, Despite Canada Expansion; What About IPO Plans?

imageimageCurrent TV, backed by Al Gore, is going through a bit of its own gore today, as it laid off about 60 of its employees. The exact count: it is eliminating 60 positions in U.S. but is adding 30 new positions, and many of those laid off will be offered new positions. The total staff count left now is 410. This comes a day after Current announced its expansion into Canada, in a tie-up with CBC. The company already has channels in the U.S., Britain, Ireland and Italy, and all of these are local JVs, hence likely unaffected in any big way.

According to a company statement sent to Valleywag, “These changes result from the development of a new, innovative programming strategy built around eight cross-platform channels, including news, comedy, music and technology, slated to premiere in the first quarter of 2009.” Not sure how innovative any of those “new” topics are, really.

Current filed its S-1 earlier this year, for an intended IPO. For the last quarter it reported revenues for, which was Q108, Current TV had ad revenue of just $2.5 million, a decline from $2.64 million in the year-ago quarter, and its net loss came to $7.5 million compared to $2.9 million a year ago. No word on the progression of IPO, bu we doubt that will happen anytime soon — it even could be withdrawn, like some others have done in this environment. I have asked the company for an update on the planned IPO, and will add if I get anything more.

Photo Credit: Robert Scoble

3 Responses to “Gore-Backed Current TV Lays Off 60, Despite Canada Expansion; What About IPO Plans?”

  1. Wow, that person is very brave to comment so candidly. As one of the people laid off I have made certain agreements as part of a humble severance package for which i am grateful as it will fund my relocation back to LA so I can pick up where my gig at Current left off. Onward and upward, across the board.

  2. Re: the IPO – it's not happening. Rumor has it there were two issues they couldn't resolve with the SEC, so they decided not to proceed and instead took on more debt to fund the company.

    The layoff today mostly affected the TV people and a good thing in the long run, in my opinion. For the longest time, the company simply cannot reconcile the differences in programming for TV and for Online. By getting rid of the TV people, they can finally start to merge the two medium more successfully. As for how success it would be, I have my reservation. The company has big aspiration but very poor execution to go with all the hopes….I guess this is to be continued….