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NEW YORK – In connection with its $35 million sale to Specific Media, social networking site MySpace on Wednesday laid off more than half of its approximately 450 employees, the Wall Street Journal reported. As recently as two years ago, the once high-flying social network’s had a staff of 1,400.
Meanwhile, Specific Media CEO Tim Vanderhook told the Journal that his company is looking to become a “digital media company on par with Yahoo, AOL, Facebook and all the other big names out there” and that it will consider an IPO.
MySpace could boost its value by giving it a presence in the hot consumer Internet business, which has this year attracted strong IPO valuations, according to the paper. Vanderhook said that Specific would look at going public if the integration of MySpace is successful.
Specific is banking on Justin Timberlake to reignite MySpace. The company on Wednesday announced that the film and music star has taken a minority stake in the social network and will help it shape its future direction.
According to the Journal, MySpace had a projected loss of $165 million for the fiscal year ending Thursday. Some bidders were spooked by the network’s continued losses and labor, real estate and music licensing costs that some felt were untenable, it said.
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