Vice Announces Layoffs, Ceases Website Content Production for Hundreds of Staffers


Under new ownership by a private equity firm, Vice Media is undergoing significant changes, including the cessation of website publishing and layoffs affecting hundreds of employees. CEO Bruce Dixon announced the decision, citing the necessity for “fundamental changes” in the company’s strategic direction.

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Dixon acknowledged the impact on affected staff, emphasizing that the decision was not made lightly. He outlined plans for Vice Media to transition to a studio model, partnering with established media companies for digital content distribution. Refinery29, a women’s lifestyle-focused site, will continue to operate independently, with Vice in talks to sell the business.

Despite the challenging circumstances, Dixon expressed optimism, stating that financial partners support the new operating model. However, the mood within Vice Media prior to the announcement was somber, with employees facing uncertainty and likening the situation to the sinking Titanic.

The news of layoffs was met with devastation by Vice staffers, particularly those in the news division known for its impactful journalism. Despite past accolades and awards, Vice Media has faced financial struggles, culminating in its acquisition out of bankruptcy for a fraction of its previous valuation.

The strategic shift signifies the end of an era for Vice Media, once hailed as the future of digital media. Amid executive changes and business difficulties, including bankruptcy filings and program cancellations, Vice joins a growing list of digital publishers forced to make painful cutbacks due to industry challenges such as declining advertising revenue and shifting consumption patterns.