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Geocast Cuts Staff, Looks Skyward

Datacaster Geocast has laid off 45 of its 245 employees and may scrap the launch of a terrestrial DTV service next year. The company is leaning instead toward a DBS launch via EchoStar in second-quarter 2001. John Abel, VP business development, says Geocast was "running a little too fat." Although Geocast is still testing a DTV system in five markets, Abel says, "it can't do both at once. The company will decide in the next month whether to launch via satellite or DTV. Whichever isn't picked, says Abel, will probably "slide back in timing" to first quarter 2002. Geocast has $85 million, enough to last to mid-2001.