Thirteen television stations owned by USA Networks will be acquired by Univision Communications Inc., the No. 1 Spanish-language broadcaster in the US, the latter announced. The $1.1 billion cash deal includes channels in Los Angeles, Miami, New York, and other cities, as well as interests in four additional stations. A USA Networks executive said the sale would let the company concentrate on its entertainment division and cable-program services.
More companies joined the list of those announcing layoffs:
*Blaming weakening demand for its services, Internet business consultant Scient Corp. cut 460 workers, or 25 percent of its global workforce. The San Francisco-based company said it would close offices in nearby Silicon Valley and in Austin, Texas.
*HarvardNet, a high-speed data communications and Web-hosting company, said it would lay off 280 workers, or about 58 percent of its workforce. Offices in Westbrook, Maine, and Portsmouth, N.H., will close. The Boston-based company indicated plans to get out of the DSL, or digital subscriber lines, business.
*Hasbro Inc. upped the job cuts announced in October from 550 to 750. The update came as the toymaker, struggling with poor earnings, said it would sell its interactive games division to Infogrames Entertainment for $100 million. The deal will give the latter full rights to Hasbro's Atari and MicroProse, plus 15 years to develop interactive versions of such Hasbro games as Monopoly, Scrabble, and Dungeons and Dragons.
*Despite receiving a $100 million investment from Microsoft cofounder Paul Allen only two days earlier, the woman's online network Oxygen Media announced 65 layoffs and the closure of its Seattle office. Talk-show host Oprah Winfrey is among investors in Oxygen Media.
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