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Vice Media to halt publishing to namesake site, cut 'several hundred' jobs in restructuring

The Vice Media logo is seen on the side of its Los Angeles office in May 2023. (Jae C. Hong/The Associated Press - image credit)
The Vice Media logo is seen on the side of its Los Angeles office in May 2023. (Jae C. Hong/The Associated Press - image credit)

The head of Vice Media Group has informed employees that the company will stop publishing content on Vice.com and will be cutting "several hundred" positions.

A memo from Vice CEO Bruce Dixon, which was sent to staff on Thursday, explains that restructuring changes are being made "to adapt and best align our strategies to be more competitive in the long term."

According to Dixon's memo, "it is no longer cost-effective for us to distribute our digital content the way we have done previously." He said Vice Media would seek to distribute its digital content by partnering with established media companies rather than publishing directly to its own site.

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The website did not appear to have mentioned these changes to readers as of early Thursday evening. The memo did not state exactly when the company would stop publishing to Vice.com, but CBC News confirmed that it had already happened.

Dixon said the company is also looking to sell its Refinery 29 media website.

The memo from Dixon also said the company will provide details to affected staff in the coming days. The New York Times reports that Vice currently employs more than 900 people.

Five years ago, Vice announced plans to slash 10 per cent of its then-2,500 staff. It has since had further rounds of job cuts, including late last year, and earlier in 2023, too.

The Canadian Media Guild says it has 27 members who work for Vice. The union has reached out to the media company for information and awaits a response that is expected next week.

The Brooklyn-headquartered Vice filed for bankruptcy protection in May of last year. It was then formally sold to a group of its former lenders, according to a July 2023 news release describing the completion of that process.

Wider media sector cuts

The pending cuts at Vice follow others at major media companies on both sides of the border.

Earlier this month, Bell Media announced significant programming cuts and a divestment of dozens of regional radio stations. Staff cuts were also part of the changes.

In December, CBC/Radio-Canada announced plans to cut roughly 10 per cent of its workforce and make programming cuts of its own.

In the U.S., meanwhile, the Los Angeles Times, the Washington Post and the Wall Street Journal also recently announced job cuts.

And like Vice, other media sites with a strong digital focus haven't been immune to the challenges of staying afloat: Jezebel's site was shut down last year, while BuzzFeed's news operations were shuttered.