Summary:

»  Still in the middle of a long turnaround amid constant rumors that parent News Corp (NSDQ: NWS). wants to sell it off, MySpace…

Morning Lowdown
photo: Corbis / Patricia Curi

»  Still in the middle of a long turnaround amid constant rumors that parent News Corp (NSDQ: NWS). wants to sell it off, MySpace is readying a “dramatic downsizing,” that could include a lay off of between one-third and one-half of its roughly 1,100 employees. The axe could fall as soon as this month, according to anonymous sources. [WSJ]

»  It’s 2011 and cord-cutting — fact or fiction — is still with us. In a wide ranging report, JP Morgan analyst Imran Khan takes a look at the situation and finds that 28 percent of people say they’d consider switching from cable to broadband video only. Of course, 72 percent say they wouldn’t cut the cord, but that number has to be a little worrisome to cable companies nevertheless. That said, the word “consider” suggests that there isn’t a strong level of commitment to broadband in that small group either. [MediaMemo]

»  Just because you have 6.4 million Twitter followers, Justin Bieber, doesn’t mean you have influence; it just means you’re popular. AdAge’s Matt Creamer examines the substance connecting popularity and influence on the web and finds that merely having the former doesn’t necessarily lead to the latter. [AdAge]

»  While most everyone else has been looking back at 2010, David Carr tries to peer a little forward… to right now. In 2011, he sees the democratization of content brands (what’s the difference between HuffPo and ABC (NYSE: DIS) News when its on an iPad?) and the hybridization of news gathering models as found in partnerships between, for example, the NYT and online investigative outlet ProPublica. [NYT]

»  Just 3- to 7 percent of web users take advantage of the RSS button on their browser’s toolbar. That’s a good reason why the next version of Firefox is dropping it and explains why Google (NSDQ: GOOG) Chrome doesn’t have it. Still, with the slow death/mere desuetude of RSS, we might just be losing some important things, such as the easiest way to avoid tracking cookies as well as aggregate news without having to go through a closed API that could decide to change how we view the content we’re interested in. [camendesign]

»  Shares of newspaper stocks were fairly mixed last year. The ranges of rises and and falls in share price reflected a continued uncertainty about the newspaper publishing business. But expectations placed on individual companies tell more of the story. For example, on the losing side, the NYTCo (NYSE: NYT) saw its share price plunge 20.7 percent, even though it managed to pare its debt. At the same time, the debt laden McClatchy (NYSE: MNI) Company’s stock was up 31.9 percent, notwithstanding debt that is over four times its operating earnings. [Reflections of A Newsosaur]

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