News Corp.'s MySpace Lays Off Half of Staff

Mike Jones

The social network's CEO Mike Jones highlights some positive trends since an entertainment-centric redesign amid talk of a possible sale.

NEW YORK - News Corp.'s MySpace made official on Tuesday a reduction of 47 percent of its staff. The cuts across divisions will hit about 500 people, the social networking firm said.

The recently redesigned Myspace with a sharpened focus on entertainment is "trending positively and the good news is we have already seen an uptick in returning and new users," the network's CEO said amid recent talk of a possible sale of MySpace if it doesn't turn around its sluggish performance.

News Corp. president, COO and deputy chairman Chase Carey last year said the conglomerate will review all options if no significant progress is reached within quarters.

"With our recent relaunch as an entertainment destination for Gen Y, we introduced a much tighter focus, a significantly streamlined product and an updated technology platform," MySpace CEO Mike Jones said. "These changes were purely driven by issues related to our legacy business, and in no way reflect the performance of the new product. The new organizational structure will enable us to move more nimbly, develop products more quickly, and attain more flexibility on the financial side."

Since the redesign, there have been more than 3.3 million new profiles created, he cited one encouraging trend. Plus, more than 134,000 Topic Pages, which connect users to entertainment-focused content from news sites and blogs, have been created since the introduction of the new Myspace.

MySpace also said on Tuesday that it will enter "strategic local partnerships" in Britain, Germany and Australia to manage advertising sales and content in those forein markets. In Britain, the network will work with .Fox Networks, while details about the partnerships in the two other territories are still being worked out.