Today's guest may be in the know, or they may do a great job of faking it. Your call. Here's the e-mail (edited for typos) from a pseudonymous tipster, "The Wall's Ear":
Ok, I've got to clear some things up.
3/8/06 - layoffs affecting the Netscape Audience business. There were three groups of people...
People that left on the 8th
People that stay (either were moved or were already in the Access org)
People that were asked to stay through June 30th (the transition period)
Transition period you ask? That would be the time that netscape.com will continue on in its current incarnation. What comes next(launching in late June-July with a built from scratch dev team)? The rumors are right on that one.
Calacanis is turning it into a clone of digg.com, it will be aimed at the general consumer, it will fail and take Calacanis with it. I kid, I kid.
As for these people being slated to go for a long time, well that's a different story. It goes back a couple of years and starts with Jeremy Liew. He managed to run what was a flagging but sustainable Netscape brand into crap.
After the jump, the rest of the story.
It started with his idea to turn the Netscape portal into a Flash application. This idea of course came after people were already building wonderfully useful "AJAX" applications. Everyone knew this would fail, but he was determined it was the future. Add to that the "fabulous" ideas he had for the browser *cough* IE engine *cough* and you have a complete failure.
So it's been some time coming in that a new business plan was inevitable, but not that "those people" were anything more than victims of a bad executive and buddies dragging buddies along with them for the ride (Liew and Miller and IAC).
So now Leonsis' new lapdog has a shot to do something with Netscape. I'm expecting an on-time launch that will end up running as an "experiment" for a couple of weeks before the old site gets turned back on with people saying they never meant for it to stay a digg clone, just a test.