Vice News’ Latest Move As It Ramps Up TV Operations: Layoffs

In this week’s episode of  Vice News, the millennial-targeting news operation has laid off about 15 staffers in New York and Los Angeles. And, one of its foreign correspondents reports it also had let go its entire UK editorial team, and its only two foreign correspondents, including her:

But a spokesman tells Deadline it still has “an operation of 18+ journalists working for Vice News in the U.K.,” while noting Vice News has hired about 20 people recently, with more to come.

The media group has served layoff notices to a number of employees, according to Writers Guild of America-East, which has been representing Vice employees only since April. The affected WGA members will receive the severance packages the guild had negoiated one month earlier.

The Vice Media developments follow earlier episodes in which International Business Times cut about 15 staffers, Mashable whacked a couple dozen, etc. April reports estimated about 1,000 and counting jobs had been whacked in the past 12 months, accurately forecasting more on the offing.

Vice Media offset the bad news, informing media reporters covering the layoffs that it had promoted Josh Tyrangiel to oversee the company’s news operations, including Vice’s HBO programs. Tyrangiel, formerly chief content officer at Bloomberg, joined Vice in October to develop the HBO nightly newscast.

Earlier this month, Vice Media CEO Shane Smith spoke glowingly of Tyrangiel as “a murderer”  who is perfectly suited to “take on” CNN and BBC, among established news outlets, because he’s “a fucking angry young man who wants to shove it in their asses.” (CNN’s Fareed Zakaria serves as consulting producer on HBO’s weekly Vice show.)

This week’s cuts are part of a plan to “expand Vice’s news offerings across digital and TV” and “marshal the company’s existing news divisions into one cohesive powerhouse,” Vice said in a statement first reported by Politico.  To that end, Vice announced it plans new bureaus, in San Francisco and Hong Kong in the coming months, so watch out for that.

Here’s Smith’s interview with Stephen Colbert last fall, about his media empire:

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