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Archive for Thursday, August 31, 2000

Business Briefcase

August 31, 2000

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CNN fires president in restructuring effort

With ratings dwindling and competitors chipping away at its dominant news role, CNN announced a restructuring Wednesday that included the ouster of the head of its U.S. network, Rick Kaplan, after three years.

CNN said it planned to more aggressively integrate its television and Internet operations. Its parent company, Time Warner, is about to complete its merger with America Online.

Philip Kent, formerly president of Turner Broadcasting System International, was appointed president and chief operating officer of the CNN News Group.

EXPANSION

Midwest Grain Products to build specialty plant

Midwest Grain Products Inc. plans to build a new $6 million plant in Atchison to handle increasing demand for specialty wheat products.

The Atchison-based company said the plant would produce Wheatex, a line of wheat proteins used in meat extensions and vegetarian meat-like products.

The new plant, able to produce up to 20 million pounds of Wheatex a year, will be added to the company's existing production area.

Also Wednesday, Midwest Grain's board declared an annual dividend of 10 cents a share, payable Nov. 8 to shareholders of record Oct. 12.

INTERNET

Drkoop.com cuts staff

Online health company drkoop.com Inc. has slashed its work force for the second time in three months, saying the layoffs are part of a new corporate restructuring plan aimed at cutting costs.

Late Tuesday, the Austin, Tex.-based company announced it was cutting 50 positions, about one-third of its current work force.

The move came on the heels of an announcement Monday that drkoop.com had secured $27.5 million in new financing and revamped its management team.

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