Peter Kafka

Recent Posts by Peter Kafka

RealNetworks Cuts 130, 7.5 Percent of Workforce

Next up on today’s layoff parade: RealNetworks (RNWK), which is cutting 130 jobs, or 7.5 percent of the workforce. Standard explanation: The company is trying to “bring expenses in line with revenues in a time of economic turmoil.”

The layoffs are companywide. The company tells us it is not shutting down the New York office of Rhapsody America, the music subscription service that Real runs as a joint venture with Viacom’s (VIA) MTV as Gawker reported this morning. The corporatewide layoffs were first reported by CNET.

Other details relevant to laid-off employees:

  • All are on payroll through the end of the year
  • Each will be offered a cash severance package based on length of service
  • Said severance package will include six months of paid COBRA
  • Etc., etc.

Real PR boss Bill Hankes has more details at the company’s blog.


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Just as the atom bomb was the weapon that was supposed to render war obsolete, the Internet seems like capitalism’s ultimate feat of self-destructive genius, an economic doomsday device rendering it impossible for anyone to ever make a profit off anything again. It’s especially hopeless for those whose work is easily digitized and accessed free of charge.

— Author Tim Kreider on not getting paid for one’s work