Updated: MySpace Making Big Layoff Ahead Of Sale Or Downscale?

With MySpace on borrowed time in News Corp (NSDQ: NWS). is the once-mighty social network due to make further cutbacks?

The company will this week begin laying off 550 to 600 of its 1,000 staff, culminating on January 11, AllThingsD reports several sources as saying.

Over in the UK, an unnamed “digital executive close to MySpace” tells The Telegraph overseas ops are due to be nobbled: “Everybody is expecting some kind of announcement next week.

“And there is not much hope left for the international offices. A few staff will probably remain, but essentially, everybody at MySpace is expecting the international operation to be closed down.”

Update: Fox Interactive Media’s UK commercial VP is leaving to join ITV (LSE: ITV) – see our story.

Says AllThingsD: “The company is primarily being shopped to private equity buyers, although one intriguing possibility that’s currently being raised within News Corp. is to try to sell MySpace to Yahoo.

When asked by paidContent:UK, MySpace said it is not commenting.

In MySpace’s layoff of 720 in 2009, it already slashed its international staff by two thirds, from 450 to 150, closing its Argentina, Brazil, Canada, France, India, Italy, Mexico, Russia, Sweden and Spain offices to concentrate on just three “primary regional hubs” in London, Berlin and Sydney.

So there’s less left to cut now – but still ample potential for cutting to save money.

In November, News Corp COO Chase Carey set a turnaround-or-offload-it clock on unprofitable MySpace: “This is something we judge in quarters, not in years.”

News Corp appears content with the latest redesign and refocus of the site. But we’re yet to learn whether it’s happy enough to hang on or to pass MySpace on…