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Source Media asks UNS for help

Wannabe interactive guide and program provider Source Media hired investment banker UBS Warburg to evaluate its operations and sell or restructure the company.

Source is saddled with $119 million in debt, just $12 million in cash, and steady operating losses. The company was a favorite of short sellers, well before the tech stock crash, with some investors tremendously skeptical of the company's ability to develop a business out of its technology and plans for a Cityseach-like local information guide via interactive cable.

Support from MSO Insight Communications helped for a while, but the company and Insight sold the company's core technology to set-top software company Liberate for $172 million in stock. Insight got half the shares. But Liberate's stock collapsed and the stock is now worth just $15 million.

Source's stock was delisted from the Nasdaq National Market System and it now trades for less than 50 cents on the OTC Buletin Board. For a while it looked like Source's salvation might be an interactive program guide that works in the initial wave of memory-constrained digital set-top boxes and supposedly don't conflict with patents held by the litiguious Gemstar. But it is Worldgate that has lined up support for that product. - John Higgins