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Sackings for AOL's workforce-decimation scheme have begun, according to a report at Silicon Alley Insider.

AOL workers began receiving emails yesterday afternoon from management asking them to attend an "Important Meeting Tuesday" – predictably where the axe awaits.

Time Warner's failing internet division expects to lay off 10 per cent of its workforce, or about 700 people, mostly by the end of March. The company announced the cuts in January, saying the US recession has made online advertisers cut spending by hundreds of millions of dollars.

The plan also includes a freeze on employee merit-pay raises in 2009 and consolidating AOL's operations in both Mountain View and Los Angeles.

AOL chief Randy Falco said in January that AOL is "two years into a three-year turnaround plan" that will shift the company's focus to its publishing, advertising, and social-media businesses. He also pledged to review all AOL products and services to make sure they have "the potential for growth." ®

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