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Submission + - MySpace to Layoff 400+ as Ad Sales Decline (

suraj.sun writes: June 16 (Bloomberg) — News Corp.'s MySpace social- networking unit fired almost 30 percent of its staff to save money in response to falling advertising sales and gains by larger rival Facebook Inc.

The cuts lower U.S. staffing at Los Angeles-based MySpace to 1,000, according to a statement today. The announcement suggests the company eliminated about 400 jobs. Dani Dudeck, a MySpace spokeswoman, declined to comment on the firings, severance costs or how much money may be saved.

News Corp. Chairman and Chief Executive Rupert Murdoch is retooling his Internet operation to regain momentum. The $580 million purchase of MySpace in October 2005 looked shrewd the next year when Google Inc. signed a $900 million accord to sell ads on the site. Facing the expiration of that deal and gains by Facebook, Murdoch, 78, hired former AOL chief Jonathan Miller in April to overhaul the digital operation.

Bloomberg :

Signaling the depth of its problems, MySpace on Tuesday said it was laying off 420 people — nearly one out of every three employees — as part of an aggressive restructuring that seeks to make the company smaller and more agile. The action follows a management shake-up in April, in which MySpace founder Chris DeWolfe was replaced as chief executive by Facebook's former chief operating officer, Owen Van Natta.

"Simply put, our staffing levels were bloated and hindered our ability to be an efficient and nimble team-oriented company," Van Natta said in a statement. "I understand that these changes are painful for many. They are also necessary for the long-term health and culture of MySpace."

Van Natta's comments underscore just how troubled Murdoch's big Internet gamble has become in the rapidly changing world of social media. Highly touted initiatives, such as MySpace Music, failed to live up to expectations, even as the site's developers constantly play catch-up to the technological innovations of others.

LA Times :,0,6726077.story

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MySpace to Layoff 400+ as Ad Sales Decline

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