Vice Media to Lay Off Hundreds of Staff, Cease Publication on Its Website

The Vice CEO says that “it is no longer cost-effective” for the company to distribute digital content the way it has done previously.
Vice Media to Lay Off Hundreds of Staff, Cease Publication on Its Website
Vice Media offices display the Vice logo at dusk in Venice, Calif., on Feb. 1, 2019. (Mario Tama/Getty Images)
Aldgra Fredly

Vice Media will stop publishing content on its website and cut “several hundred positions” as part of “fundamental changes” to its “strategic vision,” the company’s CEO said in a memo to staff on Thursday.

“This decision was not made lightly, and I understand the significant impact it will have on those affected,” Vice CEO Bruce Dixon expressed in a memo shared by Washington Post reporter Will Sommer on X.

In the memo, Mr. Dixon said that the changes will affect several hundred employees, but he did not specify how many employees would be cut. Those affected will be advised of the next steps next week, he noted.

“It is no longer cost-effective for us to distribute our digital content the way we have done previously,” Mr. Dixon said.

“Moving forward, we will look to partner with established media companies to distribute our digital content, including news, on their global platforms, as we fully transition to a studio model,” he added.

The Epoch Times has reached out to Vice for comment.

Vice filed for bankruptcy last year before being sold for $350 million to a consortium led by the Fortress Investment Group.

Mr. Dixon said that Refinery29, which is owned by Vice Media, will continue to operate as a standalone diversified digital publishing business. He added that Vice is in “advanced discussions” to sell it.

“As you know, we are in advanced discussions to sell this business, and we are continuing with that process. We expect to announce more on that in the coming weeks,” Mr. Dixon said.

“Our financial partners are supportive and have agreed to invest in this operating model going forward. We will emerge stronger and more resilient as we embark on this new phase of our journey,” he added.

Once a swashbuckling media company geared to a younger audience with an immersive storytelling style that encompassed digital, television. and film outlets, New York-based Vice was valued at $5.7 billion in 2017.

The company said last year that it was ending its flagship news broadcast program “VICE News Tonight” and cut its workforce in “response to the current market conditions and business realities facing VMG (Vice Media Group) and the broader news and media industry.”
There has been a wider surge of media layoffs and closures, including job cuts at Gannett, National Public Radio, The Washington Post, and other organizations. In April last year, BuzzFeed Inc. announced that its Pulitzer Prize-winning digital media outlet BuzzFeed News was being shut down as part of a cost-cutting drive by its corporate parent.
Ryan Morgan and the Associated Press contributed to this report.