News Corp. is considering a sale of troubled social networking website MySpace, a rep for the company told Bloomberg Wednesday.

"News Corp. is assessing a number of possibilities including a sale, a merger and a spinout," the company's Rosabel Tao said. "The process has just started."

The comment came just a day after MySpace laid off 500 people, or 47% of its global workforce.

If MySpace is spun off as an independent entity, two staffers told Bloomberg, News Corp. would help fund the business. A spin-off would remove MySpace from News Corp.'s balance sheet and free the company from trying to integrate MySpace with its online portfolio.

Given MySpace's recent reinvention as a personalized entertainment portal, it's safe to guess that it would continue along that path if it separated from News Corp. Whereas Facebook has ballooned while remaining agnostic to music and other entertainment, MySpace has always pursued a role as entertainment tastemaker. Thus, major entertainment properties like AOL and Yahoo! could been seen as possible merger candidates or acquirers.

When it purchased MySpace owner Intermix for $580 million in 2005, News Corp. had hoped to combine MySpace with its existing online properties such as FoxSports.com and FoxNews.com.

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