AOL to cut 20 percent of its workforce

American also has increased its fee for phone reservations to $25.
American also has increased its fee for phone reservations to $25. (Matthew Staver)

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Friday, March 11, 2011

AOL said Thursday that it will slash 900 jobs worldwide, or nearly 20 percent of its work force, partly to eliminate overlap that stems from its recent purchase of the Huffington Post.

About 200 of the cuts are from AOL's content and technology departments in the United States. The remaining 700 are at AOL's offices in India, which mainly provide back-office support to the United States. But AOL spokesman Graham James said 300 of those will move to other companies that are taking over support functions.

Thursday's cuts leave AOL with 3,500 employees in the United States and about 500 overseas. The total workforce is a fifth of what the company had at its peak in 2004, when its staff numbered more than 20,000. The company pared thousands of workers in the years leading up to its separation from Time Warner in late 2009. After the companies broke up, AOL cut about 2,300 of its then-6,900 employees - or about a third of its workforce - through layoffs and buyouts.

Chief executive Tim Armstrong, speaking at a conference in New York, said the company has no immediate plans for further layoffs. But he added, "In our situation, we don't have the luxury of long-term planning."

Armstrong said AOL will hire this year and will try to have more full-time journalists in its ranks to rely less on freelancers.

- Associated Press


American Airlines raises U.S. fares by $10

American Airlines is raising U.S. base fares $10 per round trip.

If the increase sticks, it would be the seventh broad price hike this year by U.S. airlines, which say they need more revenue to offset rising fuel prices.

American Airlines spokesman Tim Smith confirmed that the airline raised prices Wednesday night. Delta said it was studying the move but had not matched American yet.

United, Continental, US Airways and two low-cost carriers, JetBlue Airways and AirTran Airways, said they had not raised prices. Southwest did not immediately comment.

Airlines are also boosting fees. In the past two weeks, JetBlue raised the charge for checking a second bag to $35 from $30 and American upped the cost of making a flight reservation by phone to $25 from $20.

- Associated Press

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