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In addition to the 420 layoffs announced today at MySpace, nearly 30 percent of the social network’s U.S. staff, Fox Interactive Media quietly is cutting corporate staff. Unlike MySpace, whose CEO Owen Van Natta was open about the amount, FIM is playing it closer to the vest. Then again, investors and analysts wanted a bold, public stroke where MySpace is concerned; what they want to know from News Corp (NYSE: NWS). digital head Jon Miller about FIM is why is it still there. Here’s the official statement from a FIM spokesman:
“We are examining the operating structure of Fox Interactive Media and its role as a corporate umbrella for a number of our digital businesses. In conjunction with the MySpace staff cuts this week, we reduced our corporate FIM staff and also assigned certain positions to specific business units. These moves will allow the business leaders at each of our sites to operate in a more streamlined environment and have more direct responsibility for their teams.”
Is FIM being dismantled? Not now but it sounds like a very real possibility. In the meantime, it will be as lean as they can make it. Currently, FIM includes MySpace, Photobucket, Fox Sports Interactive, IGN, Rotten Tomatoes, AskMen, the Fox Interactive Media Audience Network and the Digital Publishing Group. The layoffs follow news that FIM has canceled plans to consolidate staff at a new Playa Vista office and is trying to get out of that lease.