News In Brief
CNN News Group, a unit of Time Warner Inc., was expected to announce between 500 and 1,000 layoffs as part of an aggressive reorganization, The Wall Street Journal reported. Citing industry executives, the newspaper said deep cuts are expected in the interactive operations and to some extent in television divisions. The reorganization, aimed at streamlining the company's news-gathering efforts, comes amid increasing competition from Fox News Channel and MSNBC. CNN employs 4,000 staffers, 2,800 in its Atlanta headquarters.
The fallout from the Bridgestone/Firestone crisis claimed another casualty: parent company president and chief executive Yoichiro Kaizaki. He announced his resignation, effective in March, citing a need "to win back the trust of our customers and stockholders." Kaizaki will remain an adviser to Bridgestone's board of directors. Critics have praised his management style in handling the recall of 6.5 million tires but faulted his sensitivity to the public relations aspects of the crisis since it erupted last August. Since then, Bridgestone shares have lost more than 50 percent of their value, and its Firestone division is expected to post a $500 million loss for the year just ended.
Federal regulators OK'd a controversial new system for collecting and displaying stock orders proposed by the Nasdaq stock market. The Securities and Exchange Commission endorsed the so-called SuperMontage following a year of debate and revisions. Proponents have argued it will display more information in easier-to-read fashion, but some alternative systems, known as electronic communications networks (ECNs), have opposed it. The ECNs say that although SuperMontage is voluntary, it requires brokers to provide their best bids and asking prices for Nasdaq stocks, thus pressuring them to use it. The system is expected to be in operation by early next year.
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