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article imageVice Media cuts 250 jobs in effort to shore up profitability

By Karen Graham     Feb 1, 2019 in Business
Vice Media is planning a reorganization that will include laying off about 10 percent of its workforce as the once high-flying startup looks to rein in an unwieldy business that grew quickly during the height of the digital boom.
In a memo on Friday morning, Vice CEO Nancy Dubuc said the company had finalized its 2019 budget and will now shift its focus "to executing our goals and hitting our marks." The Hollywood Reporter shared the memo:
"Having finalized the 2019 budget, our focus shifts to executing our goals and hitting our marks,. We will make Vice the best manifestation of itself and cement its place long into the future."
"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."
The cuts will affect about 10 percent of Vice's staff of 2,500 employees, said company spokeswoman Danielle Carrig. But she also noted that new jobs will be added in departments including sales and digital news as the company focuses on departments with a potential for growth, according to The Associated Press.
A tidal wave of layoffs
The media industry has been facing a huge wave of layoffs as Facebook and Google continue to gobble up most of the digital advertising dollars. Just last week, BuzzFeed cut deep, losing 43 of its news team, including the entire national news desk.
Shane Smith during the 2017 Mobile World Congress in Barcelona  Spain.
Shane Smith during the 2017 Mobile World Congress in Barcelona, Spain.
Stefan Schäfer, Lich
We can add Verizon to the growing list of media companies. They are cutting about 800 jobs in their media division, which includes Yahoo and HuffPost. Gannett, the nation's largest newspaper chain also announced layoffs, according to CNN News.
Vice has long been considered the darling of news media, so the layoffs are rather humbling to the company. Launched as a music and culture magazine in Canada in the 1990s, Vice has grown into a multimedia force — with digital operation and film and television production studios, focusing on millennial content.
This has helped the company to draw considerable investments over the years. In 2017, after a $450 million investment from a private equity firm, the company was valued at $5.7 billion.
Dubuc, who replaced Vice co-founder Shane Smith as CEO last year, says "Rather than organize VICE by country, we are creating a new operating structure around global lines of business—Studios, News, Digital, TV, and Virtue. Support functions such as Sales, Legal, Communications, Marketing, IT, HR, Business Development and Brand Strategy will report into Brooklyn or a designated central hub."
Employees in the United States, the United Kingdom, and Mexico were notified of the layoffs on Friday. Employees were also told there would be an expansion in sales and Vice's digital news operation.
More about Vice, media company, profitability, advertising dollars, reorganization
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