Beleaguered MySpace Lays Off 500, Restructures

News Corp.’s struggling social network makes deep cuts

MySpace, News Corp.'s ailing, $580 million social network, announced on Tuesday a major restructuring that will result in 500 layoffs, or about half of its current workforce.

"Today’s tough but necessary changes were taken in order to provide the company with a clear path for sustained growth and profitability," cheif executive Mike Jones said in a statement. "These changes were purely driven by issues related to our legacy business, and in no way reflect the performance of the new product."

The cuts had long been expected. News Corp. has spent months trying to turn the once-mighty social network around. Management of the site, whose revenues and traffic are in severe decline, were mulling deep cost-cutting measures in recent weeks.

ALSO READ: Five Ways Rupert Murdoch Can Save MySpace

In late November, News Corp. chief operating officer Chase Carey admitted the company was open to all options when it comes to MySpace.

“There are opportunities here to do 20 things but that doesn’t mean you’re going to do any of the 20." Carey said at the Reuters Global Media Summit. “If there’s something there that makes sense you ought to think about it.”

That would include a sale. Jones said Tuesday that "the new organizational structure will enable us to move more nimbly, develop products more quickly, and attain more flexibility on the financial side." (Read: entice potential buyers.)

Here's Jones' full statement:

Today Myspace is implementing a significant organizational restructuring that will result in a 47 percent staff reduction across all divisions globally and impact about 500 employees.  With our recent relaunch as an entertainment destination for Gen Y, we introduced a much tighter focus, a significantly streamlined product and an updated technology platform.

In international, Myspace, Inc. will be entering into strategic local partnerships in the UK, Germany and Australia to manage advertising sales and content.  In the UK, Myspace will enter into a strategic alliance with .Fox Networks, with whom we have successfully partnered with in many international territories.  Details about Australia and Germany are currently being finalized.  Myspace will retain a core, dedicated international team to work with partners in order to ensure users, content partners and advertisers continue to be served.

Today’s tough but necessary changes were taken in order to provide the company with a clear path for sustained growth and profitability.   These changes were purely driven by issues related to our legacy business, and in no way reflect the performance of the new product.  The new organizational structure will enable us to move more nimbly, develop products more quickly, and attain more flexibility on the financial side.   We are also committed to rebuilding the company with an entrepreneurial culture and an emphasis on technical innovation.

While it’s still early days, the new Myspace is trending positively and the good news is we have already seen an uptick in returning and new users. Since the worldwide rollout of the new Myspace, there have been more than 3.3 million new Profiles created.  We also introduced Topic Pages, which connect users to entertainment-focused content from news sites and blogs all over the Web. Over 134,000 Topic Pages have been created since the introduction of the new Myspace. There has also been a boost in viral activities, with over 10 million social actions and 90 million “follows” within the Hubs and Topics categories.  In addition, we are seeing Curators driving a lot of the engagement on our site.  Users who “friend” one of our Curators increased their frequency of visits by 35 percent.  Lastly, we have already seen a rise of four percent in mobile users just between November to December, now totaling over 22 million.

More to come. Refresh this page for updates.