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Downsizing at Richmond.com 

Updated 6 p.m.

Media General has eliminated at least one of the nine staff positions listed in the masthead of the online information and entertainment site Richmond.com.

The downsizing comes about three months after the site's former boss, Rick Thornton, left to lead the company's Richmond Media Group, which publishes the Richmond Times-Dispatch.

It was not immediately clear whether any other layoffs had happened or were planned; Style was waiting on messages left with Thornton. Richmond.com site manager Christie Newman referred questions to him.

Style Weekly launched Richmond.com, eventually selling it to The Whitlock Group. After purchasing Richmond.com from Whitlock in October 2008, Media General re-launched the site in April 2009. In the process Richmond.com underwent a staff reduction, through layoffs and absorptions into Media General.

A Richmond Times-Dispatch story in October about Thornton's promotion to vice president of audience and content development for the Richmond Media Group reports that Thornton's job is “to develop growth-focused initiatives with the goal of increasing audience using an expanding portfolio of products, services and solutions.”

Media General Responds: Thornton e-mails: “There are no other reductions planned for the site. At the same time, it is becoming more the norm in businesses everywhere to allocate staff in the best way possible.” He also notes that under his watch Richmond.com added four positions and eliminated one, resulting in a net increase of three. Also, he writes: “We are positioning our resources to yield audience and revenue growth. As noted above, our reallocation of resources is consistent with this goal.”

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