Vox Media Lays Off 50 Staffers

Digital publisher affected by social media algorithm changes

jim bankoff vox media
Vox Media CEO Jim Bankoff will stay to lead the new media organization. Getty Images
Headshot of Chris Ariens

Vox Media is cutting approximately 50 employees—or about 5 percent of its 1,000-person workforce—from several of its sites and offering “role changes” to a dozen others.

In a memo to staffers, CEO Jim Bankoff wrote that “industry changes over the past few months” led to the cuts. Bankoff is referring to algorithm changes at sites like Facebook, which prioritize a user’s posts from friends over those of publishers like Vox Media.

Most of the layoffs affect staffers who produced social media videos for sites like Racked, Curbed and SB Nation, as well as the Video Services Team. Those sites will still produce social video, but on a small scale.

“There is an obvious human impact on those who lose their job, and it also implies that we failed at something,” wrote Bankoff. “I want to be clear that the initiatives that we are winding down, primarily around native social video, were growing successfully and surpassing their audience growth goals, a testament to the talent and hard work of the teams.”

Vox Media will continue to invest in newer initiatives including its podcast network and Vox Entertainment, which produces content for other networks, including Netflix and A&E.

Vox Media also partners with NBCU on video projects as part of NBC’s $200 million investment in the company in 2015.

@ChrisAriens chris.ariens@adweek.com Chris Ariens is the managing editor and director of video at Adweek.