The downfall of Vice Media Group (VMG) is a perfect example of the challenges media organizations face that shift focuses towards ultra-left-wing ideologies. Despite being worth billions of dollars just several years ago, the company has followed a similar fate as Buzzfeed, now undergoing broad restructuring.
In 2017, Vice Media secured a funding round at $5.7 billion. One of its founders joked about "hockey stick" growth and a "sexy" IPO debut. But that never happened, and fast forward to today, top executives told employees in a memo that the popular TV program "Vice News Tonight" will be canceled, as well as a number of employees will be fired.
"In response to the current market conditions and business realities facing VMG and the broader news and media industry, we are moving forward on some painful but necessary reductions, primarily across our News business," co-CEOs Bruce Dixon and Hozefa Lokhandwala told employees. They didn't specify how many job cuts.
Dixon and Lokhandwala emphasized, "We are NOT exiting the news business, but we are changing the shape of VICE News to position the whole Company for long-term opportunities and improve how we deliver important, ground-breaking journalism well into the future."
A person familiar with the upcoming layoffs told CNN that the digital media company plans "dozens" of cuts to reduce operational costs.
VMG joins a slew of other media companies that have had no other option but to restructure in recent months due to mounting macroeconomic headwinds and a weak advertising market. Also, many of these firms went 'woke' and are quickly going broke.
Last week, BuzzFeed's CEO Jonah Peretti told employees about restructuring plans that called for a reduction of headcount and the cancellation of BuzzFeed News.
VMG and BuzzFeed are some of the best examples of how to destroy billions of dollars in valuations through woke and rubbish content.
But it's not just VMG and BuzzFeed hemorrhaging workers. HuffPost's senior editor Philip Lewis highlighted a list of other media organizations undergoing restructuring efforts.
media layoffs in 2023— philip lewis (@Phil_Lewis_) April 27, 2023
- Many local newsrooms across the U.S.
-Buzzfeed (Buzzfeed News, Complex)
- Paper Magazine
- Disney (ABC, ESPN, National Geographic, FiveThirtyEight)
- The Washington Post
- NBC News
- E.W. Scripps
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Read VMG's Dixon and Lokhandwala's memo in full below:
In response to the current market conditions and business realities facing VMG and the broader news and media industry, we are moving forward on some painful but necessary reductions, primarily across our News business. We are transforming VICE News to better withstand market realities and more closely align with how and where we see our audiences engaging with our content most. To be incredibly clear, VICE News is core to VICE Media Group and fundamental to our business. We are NOT exiting the news business, but we are changing the shape of VICE News to position the whole company for long-term opportunities and improve how we deliver important, ground-breaking journalism well into the future.
As part of this process, we've decided to streamline VICE News and make reductions in roles across our global News team to focus on our growing digital video business and our News documentary and series production business for VTV and distribution partners worldwide. We're also discontinuing VICE News Tonight on VICE TV (the last VNT broadcast will be in May). It's clear that we need to accelerate VICE News' transition to the platforms where its biggest audiences are — on our owned and operated channels where we have a direct relationship with our audience, on Paramount+ with Showtime, FAST Channels, YouTube, TikTok, Twitch, and via documentary programming for streaming platforms such as Netflix, HBO Max and Tubi. We believe this strategic focus strongly positions VICE's incredibly important news coverage for the future.
Going forward, VICE News will be produced by our News Productions and Publishing divisions jointly under Subrata De, EVP, News, and Global Head of Programming and Development, and Cory Haik, COO for News and Entertainment — two of the most talented media executives in our industry. Our longform documentary and premium series work will be produced out of our News Productions division under Subrata, who will continue to oversee global news production for all linear and streaming platforms, including VICE TV. Our daily global VICE News journalism will be produced out of our Publishing division, under Cory, with VICE News and Motherboard now organized alongside our other digital brands: VICE, Refinery29, Unbothered and i-D, delivering our digital content across platforms and our VMG network. We will also be unifying all of our news content under VICE News, which will now be our single overarching global News brand. The teams will continue to work closely together, in a coordinated and collaborative manner focused on the shared vision for VICE News' important role in global news coverage.
Our global Human Resources team will begin notifying employees whose jobs are directly impacted by these changes. If you have questions, you should reach out to your manager and HRBP.
We hope you understand that these changes were not made lightly, and that it is extremely painful to see our colleagues leave. VICE News began as a small team committed to shining a light on news in corners of the world that were being ignored by the mainstream press. Our team is part of our family and an important part of what built the VICE News brand into what it is today, but as the media industry continues to rapidly evolve and our audience consumes content in new ways, this transformation is a necessary step to safeguard the journalism for which VICE has always excelled and the future of VMG.
Bruce & Hozefa
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