Cutbacks Traced To Alcohol Consumption By HITS Staffers At Recent Music Marathon
The CMJ Network is growing smaller.

The tipsheet, which includes the weekly CMJ New Music Report and CMJ New Music Monthly, let go 19 employees Monday (11/27), with cuts in its events and editorial departments, reports SiliconAlleyReporter.com.

In an e-mail, CEO Tom Hunter cited the seasonality of CMJ events for the cutbacks.

For the past 20 years, CMJ has hosted its annual Music Marathon in New York. The trade also holds conventions in Atlanta, Seattle and San Francisco.

A source close to the company said the expansive conference schedule has caused financial strain for CMJ. Said the source: "Industry conventions are not huge cash cows. The CMJ conventions have never been tremendously profitable."

While cutbacks hit the events department, a company spokesperson said there are no plans to end its conventions.

Meanwhile, CMJ is moving from its autonomous Midtown Manhattan office to the location of its parent company, Rare Medium. The company, along with Alley VC, owns 74% of CMJ. Rare Medium acquired CMJ in 1999 and merged it with its ChangeMusic.com site. The company plans to transform CMJ Network into an Internet powerhouse, adding an artists' service division to include customized homepage building, e-mail and networking applications, MP3 and video upload capability, music industry advice and access to CMJ's music industry directory (hitsdailydouble.com, 10/20). The revamped site would also sport user areas including Net radio and message boards.

The expansion does not sit well with all those close to CMJ. "The industry is not sexy enough for them. If you're not an indispensable source for the industry, you're worthless," said one source. "The management [at Rare Medium] doesn't understand the business enough to give them a shot at turning the company around."