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Vice Media To Slash Hundreds Of Jobs, Cease Publishing Articles

The | February 23, 2024

Vice Media will no longer publish articles on and plans to lay off “several hundred” workers next week, Bruce Dixon, the Vice Media chief, revealed in a memo to staff.

The news dropped on Friday (23 February), as Dixon told staff that Vice Media plans to “fully transition to a studio model”. While that shift occurs, no more articles will be published on the Vice website, as the company will instead place more emphasis its social media platforms “as we accelerate our discussions with partners to take our content to where it will be viewed most broadly”.

In addition to the shuttering of the Vice website and the mass layoffs, the publication Refinery29, which Vice bought for $400 million in 2019, will continue to run as Vice looks to sell the magazine.

Dixon wrote that the shift means Vice must “streamline our overall operations”. “Regrettably, this means that we will be reducing our workforce, eliminating several hundred positions. This decision was not made lightly, and I understand the significant impact it will have on those affected.” Employees affected by the decision will be notified next week.

Vice was rescued from bankruptcy “by being acquired by a consortium of buyers from Fortress Investment Group” less than a year ago, The Guardian reported.

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The news of Vice no longer publishing articles – as well as deleting old ones – and laying off its workforce has arrived with understandable backlash, with POW Magazine Editor-in-Chief Jeff Weiss writing on X (formerly known as Twitter) that the decision is “unspeakably grim shit”.

“A few years ago, Vice was valued at $5.7 billion,” Weiss wrote yesterday. “They published some of the smartest, most interesting, and fearless journalism of the last decade.

“And now private equity is going to strip it for parts to make a bunch of outdated nostalgia meme pages. Unspeakably grim shit.”

Healthcare writer Timothy Faust, who wrote the legendary 2015 Vice article I Played ‘The Boys Are Back In Town’ On A Jukebox Until I Got Kicked Out (which was backed up so you can read it here), said the news “sucks so bad” and added, “Man how the fuck do you delete the entire VICE website. What the fuck have we come to. Why does everything suck so fuckin bad. Maybe this whole profit thing wasn’t the optimal way to organize society”.

Journalist Sara David added, “7 years and more than 3,000 articles on vice dot com… and the rest of my 10-year career on digital platforms that millionaires can permanently erase on a whim! send in the guillotines!!”

Last month, music publication Pitchfork was hit with mass layoffs as its owner, Condé Nast, announced that it would merge the website with men’s culture magazine GQ.

In a memo sent to staff, Anna Wintour, the company’s chief content officer and Vogue’s global editorial director wrote that she and her team would be “evolving our Pitchfork team structure by bringing the team into the GQ organisation”.

Wintour continued to explain that the decision was made “after a careful evaluation of Pitchfork’s performance and what we believe is the best path forward for the brand so that our coverage of music can continue to thrive within the company.

“Both Pitchfork and GQ have unique and valuable ways that they approach music journalism, and we are excited for the new possibilities together.”

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