Updated Feb 22, 2024 - Business

Vice to lay off hundreds and stop publishing on website


Photo by Mario Tama/Getty Images

Vice Media CEO Bruce Dixon on Thursday said the company planned to lay off "several hundred positions" amid "fundamental changes" to its strategic vision.

Why it matters: The move follows a chaotic bankruptcy buyout last year, that saw the elimination of dozens of roles, consolidation of departments and canceling of news shows.

State of play: In his note, Dixon confirmed that Vice will be shutting down its digital operations, including its website.

  • He said moving forward the company "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 that the company will no longer publish content on vice.com and will instead emphasize using social channels, where "content will be viewed most broadly."

Catch up quick: Vice, the parent company to brands like Refinery29, Virtue and others, was acquired by a syndicate led by Fortress Investment Group.

  • Vice formerly owned i-D magazine but sold it and has been "in advanced discussions" to sell Refinery29, Dixon said in his note.
  • He added that further news would be announced in the coming weeks.
  • Until then, Refinery29 "will continue to operate as a standalone diversified digital publishing business," he said.

The big picture: Once high-flying media brands are shrinking as the digital ad market tightens further.

  • BuzzFeed on Wednesday announced the sale of Complex for $108.6 million, a company it paid nearly triple for as part of its SPAC in 2021, albeit with some assets not involved.
  • BuzzFeed also said it will lay off 16% of its workforce.
  • Vox Media, which an executive once dubbed the "most acquisitive company" in digital media, spun off its political brand NowThis last year. It laid off 4% of its overall staff in November and 7% last January.
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