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MySpace lays off 500 to "streamline operations"

|Jan 12|magazine5 min read

Yes, it’s true. If you have a MySpace account, chances are, you haven’t logged into the site since you’ve been so entranced with Facebook and Twitter. MySpace was the leader in social media several years ago, but has become more well-known for its music-friendly platform for budding artists looking to share their music for free to the millions of users.

MySpace is owned by Rupert Murdoch’s News Corp. (in which it paid $580 million for the Beverly Hills-based company in 2005) and has laid off about 47 percent, or 500 people, of MySpace’s 1,100-member staff. With recent reconfigurations of the website and branding to be a social entertainment focused website, MySpace has still been unable to attract the massive audience with the likes of Facebook and other social websites.

MySpace Chief Executive Mike Jones said the job cuts were necessary to streamline operations and put the site on a path toward profitability. "These changes were purely driven by issues related to our legacy business, and in no way reflect the performance of the new product," Jones said in a statement. "The new organizational structure will enable us to move more nimbly, develop products more quickly, and attain more flexibility on the financial side."

MySpace is now looking to international sites for success as it will be entering local partnerships in the UK, Australia and Germany to manage advertising sales and content. The website will also be working with .Fox Networks, which it has partnered with in other international territories.

The website first announced plans to revamp its interface in October to become more of an entertainment hub, rather than a place for friends. MySpace’s audience has hit 81.5 million members in Nov. 2010 from 108.1 million in Nov. 2009. In the past year, Facebook went from 350 million users to 500 million.