cuts jobs, targets housewife demographic

As Barry Diller curtails both's ambitions and its workforce, his hired hand is turning it into the Home Shopping Network of search engines. CEO Jim Safka says 65 percent of its users are female with a high concentration in their late 30s in the Midwest and Southeast. In an attempt to try to get also-ran search site back on track, Safka is laying off eight percent of Ask's employees and "reevaluating" its strategy. "Everything we do will be put through this strategic filter," he says. At last, a search engine that plays in Peoria. The only problem is that even Midwestern housewives know how to Google.