According to this article on CNet's site:

Yahoo on Tuesday said it is shutting down several broadcast services, including its financial news program Finance Vision and Yahoo Radio. The closures will result in fewer than 30 layoffs, said Henry Sohn, Yahoo's vice president and general manager for network services.

Yahoo has been refocusing its businesses after an early growth spurt that featured a string of pricey acquisitions, including a $5 billion stock purchase of in 1999 that thrust the company into streaming services. That industry has suffered as harsh a downturn as many with the burst of the dot-com bubble, thanks to high expenses and a tough advertising market.

I was right. Back when Yahoo launched Finance Vision, I said it was stupid idea--a large void into which we (well, Yahoo as a company) would pour buckets of cash, seeing little return.

We were told that it was important to be the first in the on-line streaming space. If we produced original content back in 2000, then when broadband became ubiquitous users would turn do us. The argument made sense, but the assumptions behind it were terribly flawed. A few people listened to me, but mostly folks just drank the Kool-Aid.

The biggest problem is that the adoption rate of broadband technology wasn't anywhere near the predictions that folks were citing. It was clear to me that broadband was going to take at least 5 years to become popular enough for it to be a money-making business. Of course, Yahoo had money to burn at the time (and still does), but that didn't mean it was right.

Then, when the first round of layoffs hit in early 2001, some of us expected Finance Vision and similar services to vanish. Why? They never made us a dime. The infrastructure was expensive to build and maintain. There was no sign of it becoming profitable. And we didn't have many viewers. But they kept it going.

When the second round of layoffs hit, I was certain that Finance Vision would be axed. It was not.

Oh, well. It's good to see the right folks finally coming to their senses. Better late than never. I just hope they learned the lesson. We cannot afford to repeat it.

Posted by jzawodn at June 25, 2002 09:15 PM

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