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MySpace cuts 30% of staff

'Bloated' social site issues 420 pink slips

MySpace is hitting the delete button on 30% of its staffers, laying off 420 employees to cut costs.

The News Corp.-owned site said paring down its workforce to 1,000 in the U.S. will enable it to operate more efficiently. The company had grown “too big” over the years, said Jonathan Miller, News Corp.’s CEO of digital media and the conglom’s chief digital officer.

“Simply put, our staffing levels were bloated and hindered our ability to be an efficient and nimble team-oriented company,” added MySpace CEO Owen Van Natta in a statement. “I understand that these changes are painful for many. They are also necessary for the long-term health and culture of MySpace. Our intent is to return to an environment of innovation that is centered on our user and our product.”

The layoffs don’t come as a surprise.

In News Corp.’s most recent earnings report, Rupert Murdoch hinted at implementing cost-cutting efforts at his companies due to the recession.

MySpace has been affected by a slump in online ad revenue. It is expected to collect $520 million from marketers this year, 14% less than in 2008, according to research group eMarketer.

The pinkslips at MySpace, which will occur across its divisions, come two months after Van Natta took the reins, ankling his post at Facebook, which employs some 850 staffers worldwide.

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