Hirschhorn Out At MySpace
"We fully respect Jason's decision to leave and his personal desire to return to New York," Jon Miller, Chief Digital Officer for News Corporation, said in a statement. "He's done everything we asked of him and more."
Co-president Mike Jones will now step into the role of sole president of MySpace. Jones "has done an outstanding job leading MySpace into its next evolution and is the right person to take the reins," Miller said on Thursday.
For his part, Hirschhorn tweeted Thursday: "I believe in MySpace, its leader Jonesy and its wonderful team."
Earlier this year, News Corp. reported that digital media earnings were down $32 million compared to a year earlier. Recently, eMarketer predicted that ad spending at MySpace would fall 21% this year to $385 million worldwide. Worse still, the $900 million shared ad revenue deal between MySpace and Google is scheduled to expire in August.
Attempting a comeback, MySpace in February came up with new product strategy under the slogan "Discover and be Discovered." The strategic shift came on the heels of CEO Owen Van Natta's removal -- after less than a year on the job -- and the subsequent promotions of Mike Jones and Jason Hirschhorn to co-presidents.
Miller on Thursday said: "There are no plans to bring in additional management."
Earlier this month, MySpace named Dmitry Shapiro as its new chief technology officer of MySpace Music. In that role, Shapiro is responsible for all aspects of technical developments for the MySpace Music platform, including the next iteration of artist profiles and tools, as well as the overall music experience on MySpace.
The social network is still reeling from the remarkable rise of Facebook, while both companies face continued pressure over the degrees to which they protect and share user information.
Last month, The Wall Street Journal reported that Facebook, MySpace and several other social networking sites had been sending data to ad companies that could be used to find consumers' names and other personal details -- despite promises that they don't share such information without user consent.
Responding to the story in The Journal, MySpace said in a statement: "While access to a MySpace 'FriendID' does not permit anyone access to information beyond what a user has already made publicly available, MySpace is currently implementing a methodology that will obfuscate the 'FriendID' in any URL that is passed along to advertisers."