Vice Will No Longer Publish Content on Its Website, Lays Off Hundreds of Staffers

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Vice Media is the latest company to be hit by mass layoffs and a change of focus as the digital journalism industry continues to shift.

In an internal memo to employees on Thursday obtained by Insider, Vice CEO Bruce Dixon announced that the company would be laying off hundreds of staffers upon the decision to stop publishing original content on its website.

“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,” Dixon wrote. “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.”

Related: Report: Vice Media Headed For Bankruptcy

Dixon said that the company will be “putting more emphasis” on social media platforms, though the company’s lifestyle-focused site, Refinery 29, will continue to operate independently. Still, it is noted that Vice is in “advanced discussions” to sell that outlet and that employees can expect an announcement regarding the potential sale in the coming weeks.

“This is curtains for me, I’m afraid, after nine years,” former Vice staffer Tess Owen wrote on X. “Feeling all over the place emotionally, & more to come tomorrow, but one thing I will say is that Vice, to me, has always been about the work & the people who made the work.”

Employees affected by the layoffs are expected to find out by early next week.

“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,” Dixon said. “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.”

Vice Media filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy in May 2023 in New York’s Southern District Court, with the company’s assets and liabilities listed between $500 million and $1 billion.

Related: Snap Inc. to Layoff 10% of Its Total Global Workforce

The company was founded by Shane Smith as a magazine in 1994 before pivoting to digital media and streaming on HBO in 2013. It launched its own video channel, Viceland, in 2016. By 2019, both the HBO programming and Viceland were canceled.

Former CEO Nancy Dubuc also left the company last year before the bankruptcy filing.

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