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Myspace goes for a knockdown $35 million as News Corp. bites the bullet

It was Rupert Murdoch's big step into social media and when News Corp. paid $580 million six years ago, no-one thought it was a bad deal. Then things began to go wrong and this week the original high-flying network is to move to a owner for one-twelfth of that price

It is an astonishing comedown for News Corp, which bought Myspace in 2005 for $580 million as part of a bold digital strategy. News Corp, which had hoped to fetch as much as $100 million for the site, is to retain a small stake in the Myspace.

Myspace was once valued at a billion dollars. It was the No 1 online hangout for musicians, actors and their fans . In October 2008, three years after New Corp bought it, the site reached 76.3 million users. The number of monthly visitors in May was down to 35 million, according to ComScore .

The new owner - Specific Media, of Irvine, California- was founded in 1999 by Tim Vanderhook and his brothers, Chris and Russell. The firm is involved in distributing advertising online, on mobile devices and on Internet-connected televisions.

Specific Media is said to want to return the site to its roots as a place for music fans to discover new bands and songs, according to insiders.

Myspace has its HQ are in Beverly Hills, California where it shares an office building with News Corp. Digital Media.

Myspace was the most popular social networking site in the United States until April 2008 when it was overtaken by Facebook. After a number of layoffs, this month Myspace was reckoned to have only 400 employees .

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