The brutal wave sweeping through the digital media industry seems to be showing no signs of slowing down, and Vice Media is the latest victim. In an effort to keep costs minimal, Vice Media will reportedly be restructuring its business operations. According to a memo that was sent by company CEO Nancy Dubuc, Vice Media wants to narrow its focus on business areas such as Virtue and TV, and long-form video production.
To help with this, as well as its efforts to minimize costs, the company is expecting to lay off about 10% of its total workforce, with close to 250 employees reportedly expected to be out of the job in the nearest future.
In the memo to the company’s staff, Dubuc said, “Having finalized the 2019 budget, our focus shifts to executing our goals and hitting our marks. To this end, we’ve had to make hard but necessary operating decisions. Starting today, the next phase of our plan begins as we reorganize our global workforce. Unfortunately, this means we will have to say goodbye to some of our VICE colleagues.”
NEW: A Vice Media employee who escaped the layoffs tells me the mood today is "morose," with cuts coming at all levels of the company — including an Emmy winning producer of the "Charlottesville" episode of Vice News Tonight pic.twitter.com/KWZ5mt9ohF
— Jon Levine (@LevineJonathan) February 1, 2019
Rumors over the company’s layoffs have been circulating over the past few days. Dubuc stated in the note that the restructuring was designed to help “eliminate overlaps and centralize many roles” within the company, while also adding that it will cut across all departments in the company, including finance, editorial, and TV.
Vice Media CEO Nancy Dubuc
However, while the layoff is expected to affect all departments, it’s believed that the departments that will be impacted the most are the international divisions, as well as some “non-core” editorial arms. The restructuring will supposedly combine these divisions, reduce their workforce, fold them into the main Vice brand, or have them completely scrapped from the company.
More Layoffs in the Digital Media Industry
As stated earlier, the layoffs are coming at a particularly turbulent time for digital media companies. Earlier this month, well over a thousand employees were laid off from Verizon Media Group (the parent company of TechCrunch), BuzzFeed and Gannett combined.
BuzzFeed laid off more than 200 staff members- about 15% of its total workforce- with its Founder and Chief Executive Officer, John Peretti, claiming that the cuts were necessary to put the company on a “firm foundation” for the future.
Verizon also announced that it would be embarking on about 800 job cuts from its media division, which included brands such as the Huffington Post, AOL and Yahoo News.
Although the layoffs, which will affect a reported 7% of the company’s workforce, was reportedly necessitated as the company looks to continue leveraging on the provision of digital and content advertising services, it wasn’t specified which on the brands under the company would be affected the most.
Speaking on the development, a spokesperson for the company called the layoff a “strategic step toward better execution of our plans for growth and innovation into the future.”
Just a Minor Setback?
Still, it doesn’t exactly seem that the cuts are particularly hurting Vice’s progress. The Canadian company recently joined forces with online advertising company Teads Global Media, in a deal which will see al Vice brands provide display and video advertising for Teads.
Speaking on the agreement, Alex Payne, Vice President of Global Programmatic Solutions at Vice, said, “We see Teads as part of our growth internationally, supporting our strategy to align with demand partners that share our presence and aspirations on a global scale.”