Vice Halts Publishing Stories on Its Website

Vice Halts Publishing Stories on Its Website

News by Roberto Orosa
Published: February 23, 2024

Vice Media is shifting its strategy, and after a tenure spanning almost 30 years, will no longer publish news on its website, Vice.com.

Vice's journey in digital publishing began in 1996 with Viceland.com, eventually transitioning to Vice.com in 2011 following a merger with VBS.tv.

@janusrose posted her concern on X that Vice employees could not access the website and their work emails after receiving an "anonymous tip" about a shutdown.

After several hours, @janusrose updated her post with the statement, "Update: we’re all fired lol." She then included a screenshot of a memo sent to Vice employees that confirmed their fears.

In the memo, Vice Media CEO Bruce Dixon conveyed the company's intention to transition towards prioritizing social platforms.

Along with this change, the publishing giant will also be laying off hundreds of staff members to "realign our resources and streamline our overall operation."

 "It is no longer cost-effective for us to distribute our digital content the way we have done previously," Dixon stated.

"Moving forward we will look to partner with established media companies to distribute our digital content, including news, on their global platforms, as we fully transition to a studio model."

The decision reflects broader challenges within the media industry, where traditional revenue streams, such as advertising, are proving less lucrative, and audience engagement is becoming more elusive.

An Expected Trajectory

The announcement follows a period of uncertainty for Vice, which filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy last year before being acquired by a consortium of lenders.

Layoffs have been a recurring theme within the digital media landscape, with several prominent outlets, including BuzzFeed and Engadget, announcing significant staff reductions.

While Vice's website may undergo major changes, sister publication Refinery 29 will continue to operate independently.

Dixon confirmed that efforts are underway to sell Refinery 29, ensuring its continuity as a diversified digital publishing business. "We expect to announce more on that in the coming weeks," Dixon added.

Similarly, media giant BuzzFeed announced yesterday the sale of Complex, its streetwear and pop culture arm, to NTWRK.

Priced at $108.6 million, the sale of Complex came as part of Buzzfeed's restructuring efforts in order to pay off its debt amounting over $60 million.

Editing by Katherine 'Makkie' Maclang

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