WorldGate, Open TV Cut Back Staff


The slowdown in MSO capital expenditures continued to dog the interactive-TV
sector, with WorldGate Communications Inc. and OpenTV Corp. announcing layoffs
of 50 and 60 employees, respectively.

OpenTV's cutbacks were expected with its inclusion into Liberty Media Corp.
OpenTV said it will close its regional office in Naperville, Ill., which will
cut its overall 600 headcount by 10 percent and save the company $8.8 million

The vendor added that it will take a one-time, pretax charge of $4.1 million
in the third quarter of this year.

WorldGate said it will eliminate 50 full-time-equivalent positions, as well
as implementing other structural changes.

The vendor will transfer certain employees and functions to the TVGateway
joint venture with four MSOs. WorldGate also said it will focus on thin-client
technology, which has a greater chance of being deployed over the next year.

Also, Joel Boyarski, vice president and general manager of TVGateway, will
become chief financial officer of WorldGate, taking over for James Agnello, who
is joining a health-care firm.

WorldGate said the moves ensure that the company will have enough cash to
operate for the next four quarters.