Speaking of Independence … Why Doesn’t MySpace Stand Alone Inside News Corp?

Judging by my inbox, I startled some people when I asked News Corp’s Rupert Murdoch and Peter Chernin during Wednesday’s earnings call why MySpace, which operates independently in nearly every way, is still part of Fox Interactive Media (NYSE: NWS). I didn’t ask the question very elegantly but, to his credit, Chernin didn’t brush it aside. A quick history lesson: Intermix, the parent of MySpace, was the first acquisition of just-launched Fox Interactive Media back in July 2005. It was quickly followed by other acquisitions but MySpace remains the anchor tenant, providing by far most of the unit’s revenue.

Chernin described FIM as “largely just a corporate construct to organize some of our holdings and to help us manage them” efficiently but stressed “MySpace is run independently. It now sells its ads independently, builds its features independently. And you know, we organize our businesses in what we hope and trust is the most efficient way possible.” He added, “MySpace, we