VICE Shuts Down Website And Lays Off ‘Hundreds’ Of Staff

VICE shuts down its website, laying off ‘hundreds’ of staff, and will “transition to a studio model” as part of “fundamental changes to our strategic vision.”

VICE Shuts Down Website And Lays Off ‘Hundreds’ Of Staff 1’s CEO made the announcement late on Thursday that the company had stopped creating new content and fired several hundred staff members. The outlet, which was previously estimated to be worth billions of dollars, needed help from a group led by George Soros to avoid bankruptcy last year.

According to Bloomberg, as the social media company continued to lose money, Reddit filed for an IPO to go public.

One employee claims that although the website is still accessible, its content management system was shut down just before midnight. CEO Bruce Dixon said in a memo to the workforce that the company will “transition to a studio model” as part of “fundamental changes to our strategic vision.”

“We create and produce outstanding original content true to the Vice brand. However, it is no longer cost-effective for us to distribute our digital content the way we have done previously,” Dixon wrote. Going forward, Vice will partner with “established media companies” to distribute its digital content on their platforms instead.

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Vice purchased the “social-first” publication Refinery29 in 2019, and it will stay open until the business can sell it off.

Dixon stated, “Our financial partners are supportive and have committed to continuing to invest in this operating model.” In May 2023, Vice filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection. After filing, the company was acquired by Fortress Investment Group, a hedge fund managed by George Soros, a Democratic megadonor and billionaire.

While Vice used to create provocative video documentaries, the website has become fixated on left-wing politics and topics related to gender and race in recent years. To celebrate’s departure, one reviewer created a collage of these pieces and shared it on X, formerly Twitter.

“Vice is failing because communism was a bad business model,” said Tim Pool, who used to work for Vice before launching his own media conglomerate.

Independent journalist Michael Tracey stated, “I wrote for from 2012-2016, back when people still found it endearing that VICE would have a politics-oriented column. Truly an epic fail to have screwed it up this badly.”

Gavin McInnes, Shane Smith, and Soroosh Alvi created Vice in the early 1990s as a pop-culture and art journal in Montreal, Canada. After relocating to Williamsburg, a Brooklyn area known as the hipster center of the US, in 2001, the outlet rode the tide of social media popularity to become a powerhouse. In 2008, McInnes resigned due to “creative differences,” and in 2018, Smith announced his resignation as CEO.

Major businesses and venture money provided funding for Vice during the 2010s. In 2017, the company was valued at $5.7 billion, and Smith was hailed as a new breed of media mogul. But once he left, the organization had trouble raising money and started firing employees.

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