Vice Media Cuts Staff and Ends Vice Media Tonight

From a Wall Street Journal story by Jessica Toonkel and Alexandra Bruell headlined “Vice Media Cuts Staff and Ends Vice Media Tonight”:

Vice Media said it was restructuring its global news operation, including shutting down its Vice News Tonight broadcast, as the embattled media company looks to sell itself.

The company expects to cut more than 100 jobs as part of the broader reorganization, according to a person familiar with the matter. Vice has around 1,500 employees, another person said.

“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,” co-CEOs Bruce Dixon and Hozefa Lokhandwala said in a note to staff that was reviewed by The Wall Street Journal. They said the company needed to accelerate its transition toward platforms such as Paramount Global’s Paramount+ with Showtime, free ad-supported streaming channels as well as YouTube and TikTok, among others.

Vice News Tonight is a weekly news show available on Vice TV, a cable network distributed by A+E Networks. Previously, it ran on HBO.

The move is the latest recalibration for the once-hot Brooklyn upstart—whose assets include Vice News, Motherboard, Refinery29 and Vice TV—that has struggled for years to show rapid growth and live up to an early valuation of $5.7 billion.

In a separate memo reviewed by the Journal, Vice said Vice News would be its singular news brand worldwide, effectively putting an end to the Vice World News brand.

Vice has been looking to sell itself for several months, and has been discussing shutting down its Vice World News brand for several weeks.

Vice World News, which produces digital and TV news content for international audiences, is a three-year-old joint venture between Vice and Greek broadcaster Antenna Group. Vice World News last year made up the majority of revenue for Vice’s news division.

Vice Media earlier this year secured $30 million in debt financing from Fortress Investment Group, as the new-media company has faced a financial crunch.

Vice is the latest media company to rethink its news operations and cut jobs amid a challenging economy.

BuzzFeed Inc. last week said that it was conducting layoffs and ending its news division. Other publishers that have recently resorted to layoffs include Gannett Inc., the publisher of many newspapers including USA Today; Vox Media, the publisher of New York Magazine and SB Nation; and Journal publisher Dow Jones & Co.

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