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Updated EO, the online share distribution platform owned by NewMedia SPARK, is making its EOnews news team redundant.

EO chief exec Mark Stacpoole said the decision was part of the fallout from EO acquiring the Swedish online retail IPO outfit, EPO.com, which also has news on its site. There was staff overlap he said.

The EOEPO.combine will be the biggest online purveyor of IPOs in Europe

Stacpoole said EO would continue to provide a news service but wanted it to be more "factual" and it would be more IPO focused, and have details "about deals that had been done that week."

Well God knows what EOnews has been writing about all this time. Stacpoole said EPO's news service wasn't covering all of these things either.

He wasn't very clear about EO's future editorial strategy, and he hasn't given EOnews' editor Gary Flood much time to sort out any editorial direction. Flood, ex-second in command at Dutch publisher VNU's corporate IT newspaper Computing, arrived at EO only last week.

EOnews had a team of eight. Stacpoole wouldn't say if all of them were losing their jobs.

Meanwhile vnunet.com, VNU's website, made four people redundant yesterday including one journalist. But it also plans to recruit 10 new people.

A nice touch by vnunet.com was letting those people losing their jobs know the morning of the Xmas party and awards. Perhaps it spoils the festive mood of managers if they have to socialise with people they know they're just about to downsize. Perhaps they learned this from Christmas 1996 where VNU's corporate paper Computing canned a couple of people the day after the staff Xmas lunch.

So, it was good work by Andy Bunyan, one of the vnunet.com four to lose their job, for attending the party and going out in style.

Apparently it's good psychology to make people redundant just before Christmas. Colleagues feel bad, but then go on Christmas piss ups and have a holiday, and the bad feeling and their former workmates are just a distant memory come the New Year. ®

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