MySpace Shifts Staff to Refocus on User Experience

| About: News Corporation (NWS)

In his biography of Rupert Murdoch, “the Man Who Owns the News,” Michael Wolff spoke indirectly of News Corp.'s (NASDAQ:NWS) culture, saying, “every second working for [Rupert] Murdoch is a second spent thinking about what Murdoch wants.” Outside the realm of News Corp.'s more core news-driven media properties, MySpace seemed to escape some of that oversight these past few years. The company was coasting on a straightening trajectory as an almost unaffiliated entity.

With new handpicked leadership in place, that’s changing. Looking to refocus on the customer experience and regain a nimble edge without excess financial weight, MySpace said it will lay off about 30% of its staff.

“Simply put, our staffing levels were bloated and hindered our ability to be an efficient and nimble team-oriented company,” new MySpace CEO Owen Van Natta said in a statement.

MySpace’s advertising relationship with Google (NASDAQ:GOOG) is set to expire in 2010. In anticipation of that, and to regain ground lost to rival Facebook, MySpace will look to build up user engagement – giving the site’s audience better reasons to stay active and involved.

With the cuts, MySpace will still have about 1,000 employees to do the job.