WSW scales back Miami work force

MIAMI: Weber Shandwick Worldwide is the latest agency forced to let

employees go due to a dwindling number of financially viable dot-com


Eleven employees, or 20% of the work force, have been dismissed from

WSW's Miami office, which had built a heavily dot-com-weighted client

roster. The account staff laid off had serviced the tech clients; the

rest worked in back-office functions.

'With the dot-com pullback in budgets, we didn't have a lot of choice,'

said Larry Weber, president and CEO of WSW. 'I hate to do it, but like

all the other big PR firms in the country, we've had to face up to some

of the downsides of the recession.'

Christine Barney, president of WSW-Miami, added: 'We all geared up

because of the crash last year of a lot of business that was knowingly

short-term, but we had to staff for it.'

Even with staff cuts, WSW Miami remains among the largest PR firms in

South Florida with just under 40 employees and more than dollars 4.3

million in revenue as of 1999.

Weber said the office's Latin American business remains strong, adding

that he is considering acquisitions in Chile and Brazil, which he hopes

to finalize in the next month or so.

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