News Corp. is considering a possible spinoff or sale of MySpace, a day after cutting almost half of the social-networking site’s workforce.
Mike Jones, the Internet unit’s chief executive officer, told employees of plans for the site’s future at a companywide meeting today, Rosabel Tao, a spokeswoman for Beverly Hills, California-based MySpace, said today in an interview.
“News Corp. is assessing a number of possibilities including a sale, a merger and a spinout,” Tao said. “The process has just started.”
The announcement signals News Corp.’s unwillingness to bear the unit’s continuing losses. MySpace fired 47 percent of its staff yesterday, or about 500 employees, in response to pressure to become profitable. The social network introduced a redesign in October.
Divesting MySpace would benefit News Corp. investors, David Joyce, an analyst for Miller Tabak & Co., said in an e-mail. They probably wouldn’t want to keep a stake in a publicly traded MySpace, he said.
News Corp., based in New York, fell 5 cents to $14.36 at 4 p.m. New York time in Nasdaq Stock Market trading. The Class A shares gained 6.4 percent last year.
“We’re considering a number of strategic options for the business,” Julie Henderson, a spokeswoman for News Corp. in Los Angeles, said in an interview. She declined to comment further.
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