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icShowbiz and icSport - the high profile and expensive Web sites from the Trinity Mirror newspaper group - have gone titsup.co.uk.

Trinity Mirror pulled the plug on the operations - including the yet-to-be-launched shopping site, icChoice - earlier today as part of a major cost-cutting exercise.

Staff were told of the sites' closure today and asked to go home because there was no work for them to do. No doubt they'll be made redundant once the statutory consultation period is over.

Trinity Mirror said more than 50 people (mostly involved in content) are affected although insiders claim the figure is nearer 70.

El Reg understands that employees were chaperoned as they cleared their desks and that they were escorted out of offices in central London by security staff, although this has been denied by a spokesman for the company.

Trinity Mirror reported its preliminary results to the Stock Exchange this morning but seemingly made no mention of the decision to axe the sites.

Nick Fullagar, head of corporate communications at Trinity Mirror denied this and said that the phrase "icShowbiz and icSport content will enhance national newspaper sites" meant that the outfit was to close the sites.

The Register stands corrected.

Earlier today Trinity Mirror said it was selling its ISP, ic24.

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