Vice Media to Lay Off 10 Percent of Workforce

The publisher is slashing close to 250 jobs

Vice will cut about 250 jobs under CEO Nancy Dubuc. Getty Images
Headshot of Sara Jerde

Vice Media is reorganizing and eliminating what will amount to about 250 jobs.

The staffing changes, which will include laying off about 10 percent of its workforce, will impact each department at every level. The Hollywood Reporter first reported the news, which a company spokeswoman confirmed to Adweek.

The decision, made under CEO Nancy Dubuc, is intended to help make the company profitable as it deepens its investments in film and branded content.

Dubuc replaced Shane Smith in April last year, having spent almost two decades at A+E Networks. As The Wall Street Journal reported reported in November, Vice was expected to make cuts this year, after revenue remained flat and significantly less than what the media company told its investor, TPG, in 2017.

Vice News Tonight on HBO, will continue production and the company will expand its digital news desk as well as further invest in its ad agency, Virtue, and sales team.

News of the layoffs comes just after Vice Media announced it had partnered with Teads to use the Altice-owned company’s display and video ad tools.

The publisher has been in the film industry for about 11 years, has produced nearly two dozen films and has racked up awards at Sundance and Cannes and received Emmy nominations. Most recently, Netflix agreed to stream two of its productions.

Its film business has attracted sizable partners, including 20th Century Fox, which agreed four years ago to make at least two movies per year with the publisher.

It’s shaping up to be a grim 2019 for the media industry, with hundreds of media positions already lost this year. Verizon Media (formerly known as Oath) slimmed its ranks by 800 employees, Gannett made hundreds of other cuts to its local newsrooms and BuzzFeed laid off 220 staffers.

Media experts have said this is only the beginning for industry layoffs this year, as publishers continue to fight over ad dollars that are instead going to search and social.

Earlier this year, staffers at Vice Media ratified four contracts with management after significant back and forth. About 200 staffers covering employees for Vice Editorial, Vice News, Viceland and Vice Digital are represented by the Writers Guild of America, East. A spokesman for the guild declined to comment on the layoffs.

@SaraJerde Sara Jerde is publishing editor at Adweek, where she covers traditional and digital publishers’ business models. She also oversees political coverage ahead of the 2020 election.