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Crime News Site Files for Ch. 11

July 5, 2000

NEW YORK (AP) _ In a bid to stay alive until new investors are found, the parent of online news provider APBNews.com filed for bankruptcy Wednesday, one month after slashing back its operations and firing most of its staff.

APBOnline Inc., the parent company of the crime news site, sought protection from its creditors under Chapter 11 of the federal bankruptcy laws in New York, company spokesman Joe Krakoviak said.

The company, which has $7 million in debt, has already gone through $27 million in cash from investors. Krakoviak said APBNews.com will need to raise another $15 million in order to get its business to the breakeven point by early 2002.

APBNews.com announced in early June that it had run out of money and was firing all of its 140 employees. The site continued to operate with a small staff of volunteers, and two weeks later the company received enough new funding to hire back two dozen people full time.

The site has received numerous awards and citations since being founded in late 1998. It has also attracted several luminaries from the traditional journalism world, including Sydney Schanberg, who won the 1976 Pulitzer Prize for his coverage of Cambodia.

Other providers of online news and other content have also stumbled in recent months as market valuations for Internet companies have plummeted. Salon.com, a high-profile online magazine, was among those laying off staff and cutting costs.

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