Now that it’s slashed headcount from ~1500 to ~750, we hear layoffs are over at News Corp (NWS) social network MySpace.
But we’ve only heard it from one source.
So please consider that information and what we report below nothing more than unconfirmed gossip we’re hearing from sources in and around the company.
- OK, so another 50 to 75 people might find themselves on the wrong end of a pink slip. But really, layoffs at MySpace are mostly done.
- Layoffs over, top execs News Corp digital topper Jon Miller and MySpace CEO Owen Van Natta are looking hard at what to make of MySpace. We still feel it will end up looking more like Hulu than Facebook.
- All Things D’s Kara Swisher insists he’s safe, but we keep hearing that ad sales boss Jeff Berman could be on his way out of MySpace. One source tells us a headhunter firm has been hired to find his replacement.
- Berman himself has no idea what his fate will be. We hear he introduced himself to people at All Things D this year as “head of MySpace sales…for now.”
- The fates of Aber Whitcomb, Chief Technology Officer, and Travis Katz, GM and SVP of MySpace International, have not yet been decided either.
- One thing that could keep Aber, Travis and Jeff around: Jon and Owen are having a hard time recruiting new execs to the company due to all the bad press surrounding the layoffs. We think this is unfair, considering MySpace would be in much worse shape if new management hadn’t made the tough decision to cut the fat so quick.
- People at News Corp proper are flabbergasted Chris DeWolfe got so much rope (and money) from Rupert during his time running MySpace. Now they’re looking for someone to blame.
- Jon and Owen figure the layoffs saved MySpace $100 million, but it won’t show until the severance costs roll off the books next year.
- Says a source: “Lots of internal wraggling on whose to blame. Everyone inside myspace/fim pointing at DeWolfe. He clearly had Rupert’s proxy. So is it ultimately at Rupert’s fault? Chernin for letting it happen? Pete Levinsohn? Should be an interesting week.”
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