KGB to close Wichita call center by end of January

12/07/2011 5:00 AM

12/07/2011 5:56 AM

KGB will close its northeast Wichita call center at the end of January, a company executive said Tuesday.

The decision will affect the last group of KGB’s local employees not affected by previous cutbacks, which amounts to 30 people, said Kevin Gaugush, KGB’s chief people officer. In late October the New York-based company informed 126 Wichita employees that they would lose their jobs because KGB was getting out of the directory assistance business.

Gaugush said the fixed costs of the building KGB occupies at 8400 E. 32nd St. North are too much to support the 30 people who were earlier expected to continue working there. He said the center’s final day of operation is Jan. 30.

It was almost 11 months ago that the company was looking to hire 50 more workers as it shifted the call center’s focus from less directory assistance to KGB Deals, a deal-of-the-day electronic coupon service for small and medium-sized businesses. That’s the area where the remaining local employees were working. But even that business didn’t prove to be what was originally hoped. Gaugush told The Eagle in February that the company would hire another 50 employees if the service proved popular.

The closing ends KGB’s nearly six-year stint here. The company, which was previously named InfoNXX, moved into the former MCI call center in 2005. At one point KGB had as many as 870 employees here. Gaugush said the demand for directory services continues to decline.

Gaugush said other KGB call centers have been affected by a decline in directory assistance, but he wouldn’t say if any others are closing.

“It’s affecting each one a little bit differently,” he said.

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