, a New York-based pioneer in the broadcasting of audio and video programming over the Internet, is shutting down, say employees of the firm.
CEO David Bohrman told employees at a Monday afternoon meeting that Pseudo was shutting down effective today, confirms company spokeswoman Jeanne Meyer. The companywide meeting came after negotiations to raise additional money to keep the company alive fell through.
"As of today, we are all former Pseudo employees," Bohrman said, according to Meyer. Pseudo had a staff of about 175.
The shutdown of Pseudo, which this spring was broadcasting 140 hours of original live, interactive programs per month, is further proof of the difficulty that companies are having as they try to turn the dial-up Internet into a medium for broadband entertainment. Earlier this month, for example, the Hollywood studio
pulled the plug on its
online entertainment subsidiary before it launched; earlier this year, another high-profile site,
Digital Entertainment Network
, went up in smoke.
"Broadband is a risky space, and we seem to be one of the casualties," said a Pseudo employee, who spoke on condition of anonymity. "I think we were a little bit early." The employee said that though there may not be enough advertising revenue to support Pseudo's business, the programming that the company had created was still worthwhile.
Meyer said that Bohrman told employees, "I believe there's going to be something that's like this, like Pseudo, in two to three years."
Pseudo's demise leaves
, with its new FinanceVision telecast, as one of the highest-profile creators of original programming for the Web.
Unlike other Webcasters, Pseudo has always operated in a shoestring-budget atmosphere. Founded in 1994 by Josh Harris -- also the founder of
-- Pseudo has operated out of unglamourous loft space in New York's Silicon Alley.
Among other types of programming, Pseudo has produced interactive, live shows devoted to hiphop, videogames, and the technology business.
Bohrman, a veteran television executive, left
financial news operation to join Pseudo in January. A restructuring at Pseudo led to a round of layoffs in June, when about 45 people were let go from a staff that numbered 240 at the time.