Vice to lay off 10 percent of workforce

Posted at 10:59 AM, Feb 01, 2019

Vice Media announced significant cutbacks to its staff on Friday, adding more job losses to an already beleaguered industry.

The layoffs were revealed in a memo by CEO Nancy Dubuc, who pledged to "make Vice the best manifestation of itself and cement its place long into the future."
The Hollywood Reporter, which first reported the layoffs , said that the cuts "will impact around 250 people," or about 10% of its workforce.

A Vice spokesperson confirmed to CNN Business the accuracy of the report.

The layoffs mark yet more grim news for a media industry that has become defined by turbulence. Last week, about 1,000 jobs were cut in news media , with significant layoffs announced at BuzzFeed, Verizon Media (which owns HuffPost) and Gannett, the nation's largest newspaper chain.

For Vice, the Brooklyn-based company that became a darling of new media, the cuts represent a humbling setback and a marked shift from its once-bullish outlook.

After launching as a music and culture magazine in Canada in the 1990s, Vice has evolved into a multimedia force, with a robust digital operation and film and television production studios.

Vice's millennial-focused content helped the company draw considerable investment over the years, as it eyed an IPO. In 2017, after a $450 million investment from the private equity firm TPG, Vice was valued at $5.7 billion.

But the future isn't shining nearly as bright for Vice these days, as contraction has come for a number of ambitious media upstarts. In November, Disney revealed a $157 million write-down on its stake in the company.

Dubuc, who replaced Vice co-founder Shane Smith as CEO last year, telegraphed the layoffs in an interview with The Hollywood Reporter in October, saying that she couldn't rule out more cuts.

The Vice spokesperson told CNN Business on Friday that the layoffs are a part of a "global restructure," and emphasized that the company is expanding in digital news.