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Vice Will Cease Publishing on Vice.com and Lay Off ‘Several Hundred’ Staffers, CEO Says


Vice Media was in a state of flux.

via: Variety

In a memo to Vice employees Thursday, CEO Bruce Dixon said the company will be cutting “several hundred” jobs in the next week.

As part of its major restructuring, Vice will discontinue publishing content to its own website, Vice.com, and will instead put “more emphasis on our social channels as we accelerate our discussions with partners to take our content to where it will be viewed most broadly,” Dixon wrote in the memo.

“We create and produce outstanding original content true to the Vice brand. However, it is no longer cost-effective for us to distribute our digital content the way we have done previously. 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,” the CEO continued.

Dixon also wrote that Vice Media Group is “in advanced discussions” to sell Refinery29, the women-focused media company it bought in 2019 in a reported $400 million deal.

The company — which was once valued at $5.7 billion in its go-go years — filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection and in July 2023 closed a $350 million sale to a group of its former lenders, Fortress Investment Group, Soros Fund Management and Monroe Capital.

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Last fall, Vice made a round of layoffs after several Vice News shows failed to get renewed, and consolidated its five operating divisions down to two. Vice Media most recently had just over 1,000 staffers worldwide; at one point, it counted about 3,000 employees.

Read the memo:

Dear Vice Team,

As we navigate the ever-evolving business landscape, we need to adapt and best align our strategies to be more competitive in the long term. After careful consideration and discussion with the board, we have decided to make some fundamental changes to our strategic vision at Vice.

We create and produce outstanding original content true to the Vice brand. However, it is no longer cost-effective for us to distribute our digital content the way we have done previously. 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. As part of this shift, we will no longer publish content on vice.com, instead putting more emphasis on our social channels as we accelerate our discussions with partners to take our content to where it will be viewed most broadly.

Separately, Refinery 29 will continue to operate as a standalone diversified digital publishing business, creating engaging, social first content. 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.

With this strategic shift comes the need to realign our resources and streamline our overall operations at Vice. Regrettably, this means that we will be reducing our workforce, eliminating several hundred positions. This decision was not made lightly, and I understand the significant impact it will have on those affected. Employees who will be affected will notified about next steps early next week, consistent with local laws and practices.

I know that saying goodbye to our valued colleagues is difficult and feels overwhelming, but this is the best path forward for Vice as we position the company for long-term creative and financial success. 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.

Thank you for your continued dedication to Vice and support during this time of transition. Together, I am confident that we will overcome any challenges and achieve our shared goals.

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Bruce



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