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

This story was written by Rafat Ali.

Current 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 laid off will be offered those new positions. The total staff count left now is 410. This comes a day after it announced its expansion into Canada, in a tie-up with CBC there. The company already has channels here in 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.

Then Current also 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 net loss came to $7.5 million compared to $2.9 million a year ago. No word on the progression of IPO, but doubt that would happen anytime soon, or could even be withdrawn, like some others have in this environment. I have asked the PR about any further word on IPO, and will add when I get anything more.

By Rafat Ali

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