Today In Music: MySpace’s entertainment focus to lead to job cuts. Tomorrow perhaps?

We’d previously heard that MySpace is on course to cut jobs soon and AllThingsD today put that number at around 550 to 600 jobs and promises the announcement will be coming tomorrow.

The way one person familiar with the company’s thinking puts it, MySpace will be restructuring to realign its staff better with its new focus as a social entertainment site targeting Generation Y. It would also give it an opportunity to resolve various legacy issues.  Being a social entertainment site would probably be an easier path than as a social networking site on a hiding to nothing versus the all mighty Facebook but there are probably still questions about how it will make its money beyond advertising. MySpace despite its troubles still remains a key venue for promoting established bands and thousands of aspiring musicians.

The other story from AllThingsD is that News Corp, as we’ve reported,  is also being considered for sale but ATD (which is also owned by News Corp) points out that the parent company is shopping MySpace primarily to private equity buyers though Yahoo is also being considered.

Currently, no talks are happening at News Corp with outsiders on this but it’s a very fluid situation which could change very rapidly once the ‘realignment’ has happened.

It seemed only a few years ago MySpace was the new hot thing on the block but times change rapidly in social media. Below is a pic of News Corp chief Rupert Murdoch and MySpace founder Chris De Wolfe in happier times in 2007.MySpaceDeWolfeMurdoch(Photo: Reuters)

10 AOL staffers jump to Townsquare Media

Former AOL Media President Bill Wilson has snagged 10 of his former colleagues from his old company to join the venture that develops sites for local radio stations Townsquare Media.  In an announcement, Wilson, who serves as Townsquare Media’s executive vice president and chief digital officer, said the company has relaunched over 30 digital sites for local radio stations  and plans to redo all  of the company’s 171 radio station digital properties by the first quarter of 2011.

The Townsquare announcement is timely in that AOL has been in the news lately reportedly trying to figure out a way to combine with Yahoo. One latest path to marriage: AOL is exploring a breakup, that could including dumping its dying but still lucrative dial up business and combining the rest of the company with Yahoo.  At the same time, AOL Chief Executive Tim Armstrong is trying to transform itself into a major online media player to capture more ad revenue. These and other recent departures raise the specter that something might be afoot at AOL.

Below are the latest Townsquare hires:

    Sun Sachs joins as vice president, product design & engineering from AOL where he was vice president design and product for AOL Media Jared Willig is vice president digital strategy & operations  and was with AOL as vice president, general manager of Moviefone, AOL TV and PopEaster Pete Schiecke joins as director, digital media from AOL where he was a programming director at AOL Radio Stephen Lenz serves as editorial director and was previously AOL senior editor of national feature content for City Guide Juan Sarria is director of engineering and last served as an AOL manager of engineering and tool development at AOL Media Jon Gamel is Townsquare art director and was a former art director at AOL Media Eric Tsuei joins as senior developer and was most recently senior front-end engineer at AOL Media Ashley Iasimone is Townsquare deputy director and used to serve on the editorial team at AOL Music Matthew Wilkening is deputy editor and was an AOL Radio blog contributor Sara D. Anderson, deputy editor and former editor in chief of AOL Radio blog Additionally, Andrea Rosen joined Townsquare as digital content manager from Rocketboom

Yahoo jumps into the local deals game, partners with Groupon

YAHOO-MICROSOFT/Rumors continue to swirl that Yahoo would like to buy Groupon, the fast-growing group-buying service.

But Yahoo’s heart seems to be in partnerships these days, and the company announced on Tuesday that it had struck a deal to offer Groupon deals in its new local offers program.

Groupon is one of 20 partners in Yahoo’s local offers program, including Goldstar, ScoopSt and ValPak.

Yahoo’s Carol Bartz: swearing is “honest” language


(Note: Strong language contained in quotes in paragraph 3)

By Sarah McBride

Famously salty-tongued Yahoo CEO Carol Bartz says she is trying to cut down on the expletives she uses “because people make so much of it.”

She said her swearing was “honest” language used to make a point, and she considered it more acceptable than “dirty” or gratuitous swearing. If she were male, nobody would pay much attention to it, she told Reuters on the sidelines of the Women’s Conference in Long Beach, California. on Tuesday.

Bartz caught flak earlier this year for telling Michael Arrington, editor of the TechCrunch blog, to “fuck off” during a TechCrunch conference. Arrington had asked if her marketing pitch about Yahoo relative to Google was “BS.”  In a conference call with analysts last year, she spoke out about problems with the company’s management structure, saying that “nobody is fucking doing anything.”

Yahoo unfurls accordion to revamp search

Yahoo CEO Carol Bartz once played in an accordion band, so perhaps it’s fitting that the ole squeezebox has figured in to Yahoo’s products as the central motif in a revamped Internet search experience.

Yahoo has unveiled a snazzy new search interface that lets users flip between a stack of vertical tabs to view different types of results. Search on the rapper Lil Wayne for example, and you can quickly tab between groups of results like albums, videos and Twitter messages.

YahooAccordion1The new search interface, which the tech blogs have nicknamed ‘the accordion’, represents Yahoo’s first big overhaul of its search product since partnering with Microsoft.

Yahoo Shake-Up – Bartz and Schneider emails amid the turmoil

Bartz5Yahoo confirmed news of a departure tri-fecta, in which Hilary Schneider, EVP of the  Americas, David Ko, SVP Audience, Mobile and Local, North America, and Jimmy Pitaro, VP Media, all jumped ship.

In addition to telling the public, Yahoo also decided it was time to communicate with its staff (most of whom learned about the departures from the AllThingsD blog post that broke the news). Chief executive Carol Bartz and Schneider both sent out internal memos to the troops on Thursday afternoon, copies of which were obtained by Reuters.

The first email, from the desk of Carol Bartz:

Carol from the foxhole here. No, actually I’m in Atlanta to give a speech later tonight, and doing some client meetings.

Bing takes slight lead over Yahoo, still waaaaay behind Google

US-MICROSOFT-BING-JULYFor the first time ever in the search world, Microsoft’s Bing overtook Yahoo in August search share,  according to the latest data from Nielsen. Bing’s 13.9%  share edged out ever- so-slightly Yahoo’s 13.1%.

It should be noted that Microsoft and Yahoo have a partnership that kicked off in August that involves Bing powering Yahoo’s search. If Nielsen combined Bing-powered search it would represent a 26% share of search.

While Bing and Yahoo scrap for second place, Google blows everyone out of the water with a 65% share of all U.S. searches.

Nielsen Says – In: social networking; Out: email

INTERNET-SOCIALMEDIA/PRIVACYAnyone with a Facebook account knows how addictive social networking can be. But a new report by analytics firm Nielsen illustrates just how central social networking has become in the Average Joe’s day-to-day life.

Nearly a quarter of Americans’ online time is now spent on social networks, according to Nielsen. And all that time spent on Facebook, MySpace and Twitter is coming at the expense of traditionally popular Web activities, particularly email.

Email accounted for 8.3 percent of Americans’ online time in June, down from 11.5 percent a year earlier.

Yahoo and newspapers 18 months after APT

YAHOO-MICROSOFT/When Media General reported its quarterly results this week, the company made sure to highlight that its increased digital revenue — up 8 percent — was due in part to its relationship with Yahoo.

“It’s one of the few game-changing partnerships we have had,” Media General digital media president Kirk Read said in an earlier interview.

The publisher of The Tampa Tribune and Richmond Times-Dispatch is part of the 800 or so newspapers that appointed Yahoo to be one of its digital sherpas. The partnership involves ad serving technology, content sharing and, until the sale of Yahoo’s Hot Jobs to Monster, online recruitment. Since the Internet giant launched its ad platform known as APT 18 months ago, the alliance has sold $100 million in Yahoo inventory.

Lots of traffic, but show us the money

Arianna Huffington and James Pitaro photo courtsey of Beet.TV

Arianna Huffington and James Pitaro photo courtesy of Beet.TV

Traditional media companies have spent the better part of two years trying to cope with the double whammy of recessionary forces washing away advertising revenue and the changing habits of consumers. So how do a bunch of young buck  Internet companies see themselves ?  As media companies!

Well sort of. Not, you know, old school media companies.  Rather, “technology enabled media companies,” as  James Pitaro, vice president, media at Yahoo phrased it when pressed on Tuesday during a  panel discussion about the future of media hosted by I Want Media.

Pitaro was on hand with a bunch of other big names like Arianna Huffington of The Huffington Post;  David Eun, AOL Media president; and Josh Cohen, senior business project manager at Google News. (Go here for the complete lineup).