updated 03:20 pm EDT, Wed June 29, 2011
MySpace now settling on 35m sale to Specific
(Update: Justin Timberlake is involved) MySpace's imminent sale has now been finalized as a new leak confirmed a deal has been struck. Ad producer Specific Media has agreed to buy the social network for $35 million. Under the terms seen by AllThingsD, current owner News Corp would have a "less than five percent" stake but cut the 400-person staff count in half.
Other cost cutting will come, according to the source. In a memo, MySpace's current leader Mike Jones said he will help transition over the next two months before leaving the CEO position.
Specific's goals with the buyout are vague and will involve "enhancing digital media experiences by fueling connections with relevance and interest," its CEO Tim Vanderhook said.
The sale price is a blow to News Corp. It bought MySpace in 2005 for $580 million on the assumption that it would prove a new front for media in the US. A lack of significant updates for years, along with an unpolished design, let Facebook overtake MySpace and eventually get a near-insurmountable lead. MySpace once tried turning to music services and a 2010 music-focused redesign to salvage its business but has largely been unsuccessful.
News Corp has been trying to sell MySpace for the past several months and at one point was asking $100 million. A coalition including Activision's Bobby Kotick was also involved but backed out a week before the new deal.
Update: CEO Mike Jones, apart from confirming the deal, has revealed that pop singer and The Social Network actor Justin Timberlake will be helping set the new strategy for MySpace.