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BellSouth Cutting 2,100 Jobs

February 5, 2000

ATLANTA (AP) _ In an effort to eliminate redundant positions, BellSouth Corp. is planning to cut 2,100 jobs this year, the brunt of them in the Atlanta area.

About 65 percent of the cuts _ 1,365 jobs _ will come in metro Atlanta, the company said Friday. Another 420 jobs will be cut in Birmingham, Ala., and the remaining 315 will be cut in seven other Southeastern states.

Analysts said the move was not a surprise.

``In an industry being revolutionized by technology and increased competition, BellSouth is just doing what they need to do to stay alive and keep regulators and their shareholders happy,″ said Anthony F. Ferrugia, an analyst with A.G. Edwards in St. Louis.

Investors were pleased with the move, pushing shares of the company up $1.43 3/4 to $45.50 in trading on the New York Stock Exchange.

Atlanta-based BellSouth is eliminating staff positions in human resources, financial, legal and regulatory departments in order to streamline its operations, said spokesman Bill Getch.

``This gives us the ability to bring new products to market faster, the ability to bundle products, that’s where the competitive market is heading,″ Getch said.

The company plans to make most of the reductions by offering early retirement or severance packages to employees who leave voluntarily. Getch said the bulk of the cuts will be completed between April and October.

BellSouth, created in 1984 after the breakup of AT&T, had 96,162 employees last year. This job reduction represents about 2 percent of the company’s total work force.

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