The MySpace fire sale

The MySpace fire sale

So Rupert Murdoch's NewsCorp wants to flog MySpace as quickly as possible, certainly before the end of this week.

Kara Swisher at All Things Digital says it will probably sell for about $20 million, a far cry from the $100 million Murdoch was hoping for and nowhere near the $580 million he paid for it six years ago. A sale is expected this week for one very good reason. As Swisher puts it, it has to be done before the close of the fiscal giant's financial year. "In other words, let's get Myspace off the books for 2012!"

Murdoch is taking a huge bath on MySpace. At the same time, there are reports that MySpace will be cutting one-third of its staff.

How did Murdoch get it so wrong? For a start, MySpace was inhabited by 13 to 15 year olds when he bought it. The trouble is they grew up and MySpace offered them nothing that would keep them there. Staying with MySpace for them would be like staying high school. And then of course there was Facebook which did such a better job at social networking.

At the same time, Murdoch doesn't have a great grasp of technology. As his biographer Michael Wolff says: "Murdoch doesn't use a computer, doesn't get email, can't get his cell phone to work." How then could anyone expect him to understand the technology of MySpace?


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