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Friday, 17 August, 2001, 09:32 GMT 10:32 UK
Industry Standard goes bust
The Industry Standard, one of the bibles of the boom, has announced it will suspend publication of its weekly magazine and lay off most of its staff.

The publication which chronicled the rise and fall of internet stocks has now itself become a victim of the sector's downturn.

The Standard will officially suspend publication on Monday and only 15 of the 180 staff will be retained to update the website.

The publisher Standard Media is reportedly seeking a buyer but is doing so as advertising revenues decline and the US economy slumps.

"We are very disappointed that our short-term financial situation requires this, but we remain hopeful our assets will be sold," a company spokeswoman said.

End of an era

The end of the Standard marks the end of an era for San Francisco's community.

The Standard's regular roof top parties with views of the Bay Bridge were once the hottest in town, with queues stretching around the block.

The Standard was founded in 1997 and quickly became what its name implied, attracting hundreds of advertisers to rival the heaviest of fashion magazines.

It became the fastest growing magazine in American history with more than 350 pages an issue.

Employees were indulged with free office nibbles, happy hours, massages and gym membership and stock options, which will now never be cashed in.

The dot.bomb

As companies started to go under so did the Standard's revenue base, both advertising sales and subscriptions.

Circulation as of 31 December 2000 was 192,700 of which 93,500 were non-paying, according to figures from Standard Rate and Data Services.

Many of the subscribers to the Standard worked for companies or were the companies which were shutting down.

The magazine began to shrink, levelling out to about 80 pages this year as annual advertising revenue dropped 71.5% from $14.8m to $4.2m, according to the Publishers Information Bureau.

The first round of layoffs occurred in January, followed by another in February and then Industry Standard Europe, which was launched in early 2000, shut down less than a year after its launch.

Employees have been paid this week's wages but most of them have been forced to take leave. A skeleton crew remains to run the magazine's website.

If the magazine cannot be sold it might file for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection, a move already taken by many of the high-tech companies the Industry Standard once covered.

Other chroniclers of the boom - Red Herring, Business 2.0 and Fast Company - are clinging on, although they have been hit by the decline in advertising revenue as well.

Hugh Fraser, technology journalist
"It is a big psychological blow for an already beleaguered industry"
See also:

25 Jul 01 | Business
High-tech gloom hits CNet
25 Jul 01 | New Media
Uncertain future for gossip website
12 Apr 01 | Business
Industry Standard Europe folds
09 Apr 01 | Business
NBC axes internet business
05 Mar 01 | Business
Pearson upbeat despite web costs
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