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Vice Media To Layoff Hundreds In Major Restructuring Of Company

Source: Eric Thayer / Getty

Employees at VICE were informed that the media group is stepping back from online news and preparing a round of heavy layoffs.

On Thursday (February 22), VICE News CEO Bruce Dixon sent out an internal memo informing employees that the media company would no longer be publishing on its flagship news site. “It is no longer cost-effective for us to distribute our digital content the way we have done previously,” Dixon wrote. “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.”

There was more to the stunning development. “With this strategic shift comes the need to realign our resources and streamline our overall operations at VICE,” Dixon added. “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 be notified about next steps early next week, consistent with local laws and practices.” The moves would not affect Refinery29, with the women’s lifestyle brand and website that Vice acquired in 2019 continuing as a standalone business.

The news reflects a stunning fall for VICE, which began as a publication covering punk rock and alternative music in Montreal in the 1990s founded by Suroosh Ali, Shane Smith, and Gavin McInnes who would go on to found the Proud Boys, the fascist organization that has aligned itself with the American far-right. At its peak, the Brooklyn-based company delivered news in a highly independent format with correspondents across the globe in addition to original programming such as Most Expensivest hosted by 2Chainz and F—- That’s Delicious by Action Bronson. The “Easy Rider” rapper took to social media on Friday, saying: “JUST WANTED TO MAKE SURE YA’LL KNOW I NEVER STOPPED MAKING F—K THATS DELICIOUS BECAUSE VICE IMPLODED.”

Representatives for VICE declined to comment when contacted by the press. The news comes amid several media groups announcing their downsizing measures such as Pitchfork and GQ, and Complex Media being sold off to the Ntwrk e-commerce platform. They joined news outlets such as The Washington Post, the Los Angeles Times, CNN, and ABC News which had initiated their cuts in recent weeks and months. 

VICE Exiting Online News, Axing “Several Hundred Positions”  was originally published on hiphopwired.com