updated 04:20 pm EST, Fri December 31, 2010
MySpace could cut as much as 50 percent of staff
MySpace might cut up to 50 percent of its staff to stay alive if a leak from multiple industry tipsters on Friday is accurate. Planning is underway for cuts that could reach up to half of its roughly 1,100 workers both in the US and worldwide. Details were still very much uncertain, AllThingsD said, and could be less.
Regardless of cuts, staff were known to have been furloughed for the last week of December to save money.
The company is also still thought to be considering more drastic steps for MySpace even if the cuts take effect, including a sale or shutting down the site. News Corp.'s executive VP of digital operations, Jack Kennedy, has allegedly been tasked with gauging the viability of a sell-off. A private equity firm has been the most probable candidate, but FarmVille creator Zynga has surfaced as a possibility.
MySpace was once the dominant social networking service but was rapidly eclipsed as it lagged in features and didn't cultivate the reputation for community of Facebook. Its rival is now said approaching 600 million users where MySpace has had to respin itself as a site primarily for music rather than the general social network it had been for years.
At one point, it had pitched itself as a competitor to Amazon MP3 or iTunes with its own MP3 download store and ad-supported streaming. A lack of interest led it to give up these plans, and it eventually began offering direct iTunes links.