Vice Media closes flagship website cuts hundreds of employees

Vice Media closes flagship website, cuts hundreds of employees | Media News

The media group is the latest in a series of media companies that are cutting jobs in the face of falling sales in the digital age.

Vice Media, the trendy media company courting Millennials and Generation Z, has announced it will stop publishing new content on its flagship website and lay off several hundred employees, the latest blow to the struggling media industry.

Vice filed for bankruptcy in May before selling to New York-based Fortress Investment Group for $350 million.

Cost-cutting measures, including several rounds of job cuts and the cancellation of the popular show “Vice News Tonight,” failed to turn around the fortunes, reflecting news organizations' greater difficulties in the digital age.

Vice will stop publishing content on and move to partnerships with other media companies, Bruce Dixon, CEO of Vice Media Group, said in a memo that was widely shared online.

“With this strategic shift comes the need to realign our resources and streamline our entire operations at Vice,” Dixon said in his memo, adding that the company would be moving to a “studio model.”

“Unfortunately, this means we will be reducing our workforce and eliminating several hundred positions,” said Dixon.

Further details on the cuts are expected to be announced next week.

In January, the youth-targeted brand announced that its music website Pitchfork Media would be integrated into GQ Magazine — killing another staple of 2000s alternative culture.

Vice's crash comes as both traditional and digital media companies struggle to find a viable business model. Last year alone, the industry shed hundreds of jobs.

Vice's rivals BuzzFeed News and Jezebel, which shared a strategy of combining irreverent and serious content, both closed last year, while Vox Media and giant publisher Condé Nast cut jobs.

The bleeding has continued into 2024, with digital news startup The Messenger shutting down and layoffs announced at TechCrunch, the Washington Post, the Los Angeles Times and the Wall Street Journal.

According to the Pew Research Center, employment in newsrooms in the United States fell by more than a quarter between 2008 and 2021 as print advertising revenue fell amid the shift to digital content.

Founded in 1994 as the Voice of Montreal before changing its name when it later moved to New York, Vice grew from a print magazine into a sprawling multimedia company offering original digital and video content as well as several spin-off channels.

At the peak of its success in 2017, the media conglomerate was worth $5.7 billion.