By Antony Bruno
Myspace is becoming synonymous with “rumor” these days. With chatter still circulating about parent company NewsCorp considering selling the struggling social networking site, now comes new word that it may be preparing for a massive round of layoffs — as much as 50% of current staff.
AllThingsD makes the speculation, citing unnamed sources. Myspace has 1,100 employees mostly in the U.S. It also names NewsCorp Digital Media executive VP Jack Kennedy as the point man charged with exploring the possible sale of Myspace.
For sure 2011 is going to be a make-or-break year for Myspace. In November, it took the wraps off its highly anticipated redesign, which refocused the service as an entertainment hub a la MTV for the social networking crowd. That effort capped a period of volatility that saw three different leaders leave the company, from founder Chris DeWolfe, to CEO Owen Van Natta to co-president Jason Hirschhorn.
And then there’s the ominous warning given by NewsCorp COO during an earnings call in November which gave Myspace “quarters, not years” to stem its losses.
It’s a situation the music industry continues to monitor closely, given its stake in the Myspace Music joint venture.