Vice Media lays off staff, shuts down news site

Vice Media's CEO, Bruce Dixon, announced in a memo to staff members that the company will be laying off several hundred employees and will no longer be publishing material on its website. This decision comes as Vice, which was once valued at $5.7 billion in 2017, continues to face financial challenges.

After filing for bankruptcy last year and being sold for $350 million to a consortium led by the Fortress Investment Group, Vice is now looking to sell its Refinery 29 publishing business. This move is part of a larger trend in the media industry, with digital sites like the Messenger, BuzzFeed News, and Jezebel shutting down, and legacy media outlets like the Los Angeles Times, Washington Post, and Wall Street Journal also experiencing job cuts.

Dixon did not provide specific details about the layoffs, only stating that hundreds of employees will be affected and will be notified early next week. The New York Times reported that Vice currently has around 900 staff members.

In his memo, Dixon acknowledged the difficulty of saying goodbye to valued colleagues but stated that these layoffs are necessary for Vice to position itself for long-term creative and financial success. He mentioned that it is no longer cost-effective for Vice to distribute its digital content in the same way and that the company will be focusing more on its social channels and exploring different distribution methods.

As part of its strategic shift, Vice will be following a studio model. This decision comes after Vice canceled its "Vice News Tonight" television program and implemented a round of layoffs prior to filing for bankruptcy last year.


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