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News Corp puts MySpace on life support

Rupert Murdoch has spelled it out for MySpace due to the site's less-than-stellar performance. If results don't improve, it's all over. Well, not Murdoch per se, but News Corp's COO, Carey Chase, has left a rather resounding message for MySpace management.

According to AFP, the COO slammed the Digital Media Group for poor financials as it turned out a $156 million operating loss this quarter. The official line is that MySpace is to blame for what happened, losing much-needed ad revenues and membership to the likes of Facebook.

MySpace has been unable to keep up with the growing popularity of Facebook and has even recently reinvented itself as a hub and soapbox for young musicians. This will keep MySpace alive for a while, albeit with the kill-switch firmly in the grasp of the executive hand.

"The current losses are not acceptable or sustainable" said Chase, "Our traffic numbers are not going in the right direction", which we can only understand as the 'opposite of up', which itself is in no way different from 'down'.

Current numbers have MySpace pegged for 100 million users, while Facebook has exceeded the 500 million mark and rising. So if things don't look up for MySpace, Murdoch's $580 million investment seems poised to be flushed down the drain together with the aspirations of millions of budding musicians... something almost worthy of a Live Aid itself.

MySpace's current predicament joins The Times of London's paywall in the big bag of not-so-good-moves from News Corp's Digital Media Group. Although they'll argue otherwise.