Site files for bankruptcy
By Richard N. Ostling
NEW YORK Beliefnet.com, a pioneering Internet site aimed at feeding Americans' interest in religion and spirituality, has filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection.
Steve Waldman, chairman and chief executive of Beliefnet.com, expressed confidence the company will survive in some form. The site, like other Internet firms, is a victim of a severe advertising recession.
"The irony is ... the importance of religion on the Internet has continued to grow," he said, more than ever since Sept. 11. "There is a tremendous appetite for independent information and ideas about religion and spirituality, and a multi-faith approach."
Beliefnet.com is considered a leading site on religion. Each month, it logs 15 million "page views" from 1 million different individuals, and sends out 150 million e-mail newsletters to subscribers on various topics, Waldman said. Unlike most such Internet offerings, Beliefnet.com spans all creeds and is independent of religious sponsorship.
The site continues to operate with a staff of nine, compared with more than 50 at its height.
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