Feb 1, 2019

Vice Media lays off hundreds amid reorganization

Vice's logo.

Vice Media is laying off 10% of its workforce, according to The Hollywood Reporter. Roughly 250 jobs will be cut across all department and job levels.

The backdrop: The writing was on the wall for Vice. Reporting and comments from CEO Nancy Dubac last year suggested the layoffs were coming. Vice has experienced investor and culture drama over the past year, impacting its goal to go public.

  • In November, Disney wrote down $157 million of its initial $400 million investment in Vice three years ago, shortly after reports suggested that the company's revenue was expected to fall flat last year and the company was expected to lose $50 million.
  • Vice seems to have scrapped a plan for an IPO in 2018 after reports surfaced of sexual harassment problems, which also led to the ousting of CEO and co-founder Shane Smith.
  • The company's weekly news show on HBO is expected to end after its current season. Vice's relationship with HBO has largely contributed to its growth up until this point. The company is reportedly prepping a new live news show that will instead air on "Viceland," a cable channel owned by Vice and operated by A+E Networks, per NBC News.

Details: The cuts are being made to reduce redundancies in international markets and to invest more in film, television and branded content production, per The Hollywood Reporter.

  • The company is planning to invest more in its Studios division, (which creates content to be sold or licensed to bigger distributors like Amazon); its ad agency Virtue, and its sales team. 

The big picture: The layoffs come at a time of tumult in the media industry, and particularly the venture capital-backed media industry.

  • Over 1,000 media jobs were cut across Verizon, Buzzfeed and Gannett last week.
  • Vice, which has raised $1.4 billion with a $5.7 billion valuation at the time of its last fundraising round in 2017, has struggled to keep some of those investors happy.

Go deeper: More than 1,000 media jobs lost in one day

Go deeper

Trump removes watchdog overseeing rollout of $2 trillion coronavirus bill

Glenn Fine, acting Pentagon watchdog

President Trump on Monday replaced the Pentagon's acting Inspector General Glenn Fine, who had been selected to chair the panel overseeing the rollout of the $2 trillion coronavirus relief bill passed last month, Politico first reported.

Why it matters: A group of independent federal watchdogs selected Fine to lead the Pandemic Response Accountability Committee, but Fine's removal from his Pentagon job prevents from being able to serve in that position — since the law only allows sitting inspectors general to fill the role.

Go deeperArrowUpdated 2 mins ago - Politics & Policy

What a post-pandemic space industry might look like

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

The economic downturn caused by the coronavirus pandemic could spell major trouble for dozens of small companies working to break into the space industry.

The big picture: SpaceX, United Launch Alliance and other companies are well-established with strong customer bases and robust portfolios, but the prospects for the industry's growth hinge on smaller companies.

Go deeperArrow19 mins ago - Science

Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

  1. Global: Total confirmed cases as of 12 p.m. ET: 1,365,004— Total deaths: 76,507 — Total recoveries: 292,467Map.
  2. U.S.: Total confirmed cases as of 12 p.m. ET: 369,069 — Total deaths: 11,018 — Total recoveries: 20,003Map.
  3. Trump administration latest: Peter Navarro warned White House colleagues in late January about the massive potential risks from the coronavirus.
  4. Federal government latest: The public wants the federal government, not states, in charge of coronavirus — Testing capacity is still lagging far enough behind demand.
  5. States update: New York death toll surged to its highest one-day total as state predicts a plateau in hospitalizations.
  6. 2020 update: Wisconsin Supreme Court blocks the governor's attempt to delay in-person primary voting until June.
  7. What should I do? Pets, moving and personal health. Answers about the virus from Axios expertsWhat to know about social distancingQ&A: Minimizing your coronavirus risk.
  8. Other resources: CDC on how to avoid the virus, what to do if you get it.

Subscribe to Mike Allen's Axios AM to follow our coronavirus coverage each morning from your inbox.