News Corp. exec: “The right time” to sell Myspace

Just in case anyone wasn’t sure about News Corp.’s desire to unload Myspace, chief operating officer Chase Carney said this afternoon that “now is the right time” to consider selling the social networking service — or find another way to restructure its relationship with the parent company.

“With a new structure in place, now is the right time to consider strategic options for this business,” Carney said during a conference call with analysts. “The new Myspace has been very well-received by the market and we have some very encouraging metrics. But the plan to allow Myspace to reach its full potential may be best achieved under a new owner.”

The company has been hinting at this for a while now. In December, News Corp.’s digital media chief Jon Miller said that he was “wrestling” with what to do. While he was impressed with the site’s redesign, a public company like News Corp. can’t support a money-losing product indefinitely, he said. Then, following the layoff of 47 percent of the Myspace’s staff, a News Corp. spokesperson told Reuters that the company was looking at a spinoff or a sale.

Carney made today’s statement after News Corp. released an earnings report that was largely positive but included a $275 million writedown for its digital media business, stemming largely from Myspace. Carney later elaborated on his statement for paidContent:

There’s been a lot of interest, because there’s been some indication we’re pursuing this path. We’ll consider all options — not just a sale, it could be a sale, it could be an investor coming into it, it could be us staying in with a restructured ownership structure with management.

We think a fresh perspective would give them flexibility and an opportunity to get a new life consistent with the right-sizing of the product and the costs.

The interest to date has ranged from A to Z — from industry players, financial players, foreign to domestic. And that’s without really being out there — it’s incoming, we’re not soliciting anything at this point. But we’ll look at all of those. I’m not going to speculate on value.

So … any takers? Google?

[image via Flickr/Gabe Habermann< /em>]


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