Any smart exec could recognize that a social networking site with 100,000 new members every day was a mother lode of consumers. Not every exec, however, would know the key to mining its gold was not to mess with it. By keeping its creators, Murdoch has gotten his reins around the beast, but doesn't necessarily want to tame it.
Writes Reiss about the tough balance: "[O]ne way to make the site more ad-friendly is to introduce miniportals focused on MySpace core interests - music, movies, and comedy so far - that offer advertisers 'clean' (that is, professionally designed and managed) pages. Smart stuff - but again, tidy the place up enough to make American Express happy, and it won't be MySpace anymore."
Right now MySpace is bigger than Yahoo!, but not more profitable by a long shot. Expect that to change.