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MySpace to Cut Two-Thirds of Overseas Jobs

MySpace this morning announced plans to eliminate two-thirds of its international workforce, cutting 300 positions and closing at least four overseas offices as the social network continues its reorganization.

Last week, MySpace said it planned to reduce its workforce by 30 percent by making cuts throughout its U.S. operations. Both announcements reflect the determination that the downturn in ad spending left the News Corp.-owned company with unsustainable staffing levels.

"As we conducted our review of the company, it was clear that internationally, just as in the U.S., MySpace's staffing had become too big and cumbersome to be sustainable in current market conditions," CEO Owen Van Natta said in a statement. "Today's proposed changes are designed to transform and refine our international growth strategy."

MySpace said that London, Berlin and Sydney will serve as the main hubs of its international operations after the reorganization is complete. Under the proposed plan, MySpace said it would also put its offices in 10 other countries, including Canada and India, under review with an eye toward a potential restructuring.

"With roughly half of MySpace's total user base coming from outside the U.S., maintaining productive and efficient operations in our international markets is important to users worldwide and our immediate financial strength," Van Natta said.

MySpace has long trailed its principal rival, Facebook, in international traffic. Earlier this month, the social networking world witnessed something of a changing of the guard as Facebook vaulted past MySpace in U.S. visitors, according to data from online metrics firm comScore.

The growth charts for Facebook and MySpace tell very different stories. One continues brisk month-to-month increases, while the other has essentially plateaued.

News Corp. took the first step toward its shakeup in April, when it showed MySpace co-founder and CEO Chris DeWolfe the door, quickly replacing him with Van Natta, a Facebook veteran who helped engineer Microsoft's $240 million investment in 2007.

MySpace said that its operations in China and Japan will be unaffected by the changes proposed today.