IMG's Digital Media Unit next week will cease operation as a separate entity and will be realigned into other IMG business units, a move that will result in the layoff of approximately 80 Digital Media staffers. “This is in no way a retreat from the digital business,” says IMG spokesman Jim Gallagher. “It is a plan to enlarge and improve our digital offerings.” Under the transition plan, Oliver Gers, IMG’s head of Digital Media, will stay on board through January and assist with the transition. Donna North, IMG SVP and head of EMEA Digital, will leave IMG. “After studying the company structure, the conclusion was that the business could be more effective if the pieces resided within IMG’s core business group,” says Gallagher. IMG’s digital production business will be integrated into the Sports Media Production business. IMG’s digital-content-creation business will be tied to the respective content rightsholder within IMG, and the IMG Website services will still support clients, although a third-party technology partner will take over delivery of those sites. David Shield, IMG Media, SVP, director of engineering and technology, will assist in finding that partner and managing the relationship. “For our customers, this will be a seamless transition and will not have an impact, although we expect to improve our services,” says Gallagher.