Vice Media to cut 10 percent of staff

February 1, 2019
Category: Business & Work

More bad news in the media industry.

Vice Media is expected to lay off about 10 percent of its workforce in a story first reported by The Hollywood Reporter. A company spokesman told THR that about 250 jobs are expected to be cut and that all departments will be impacted, from IT to finance to television. Employees affected in the United States, Canada and the United Kingdom are expected to be notified Friday with more layoffs in the near future.

In a memo to staff, Vice Media CEO Nancy Dubuc wrote:

“Having finalized the 2019 budget, our focus shifts to executing our goals and hitting our marks. We will make Vice the best manifestation of itself and cement its place long into the future.’’

It’s not immediately known how much Vice News will be impacted, but Dubuc is looking to cut back on Vice’s web properties, while beefing up its film, TV and branded content, according to Variety. CNN reported that Dubuc told staff that digital news also will be expanded. The Wall Street Journal reported that Vice’s weekly news show on HBO, simply called “Vice,’’ will come to an end, but that its daily news program, “Vice News Tonight,’’ will continue.

These moves probably should come as no surprise. In an interview last October with THR, Dubuc warned of tightening budgets and said she was “not going to rule out more’’ layoffs at the company.

Last fall, Variety reported that Vice was instituting a hiring freeze in the hopes of avoiding layoffs and shedding about 15 percent of its staff. In July of 2017, Vice cut about 2 percent of its staff, but expanded internationally and in video production.

Friday’s news continues what has been a grim couple of weeks for digital media and journalism in general. Last week, BuzzFeed; Verizon Media Group, which owns HuffPost; and Gannett laid off more than 1,000 employees combined.

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