Vice Media Cuts Staff By 2% As It Sharpens Focus On Video

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A dreary day for Vice Media: The millennial-focused company confirmed that it has begun to lay off about 60 people — 2% of its work force — across multiple departments, although it still plans to grow.

The change partly reflects a shift in priorities toward video, and away from sports and online coverage.

The cuts come a little more than a month after Vice snagged a $450 million investment from asset firm TPG. It values the company at up to $5.7 billion, CEO Shane Smith told CNBC at the time.

If correct, then it means TPG considered Vice to be worth more than the market value for established media companies including Cinemark, AMC Networks, and Sinclair Broadcast Group — and would be close to twice as valuable as The New York Times and AMC Entertainment.

Smith said that the cash would give the company resources to “build up the largest millennial video library in the world – enabling Vice to widen our offering to include news, food, music, fashion, art, travel, gaming, lifestyle, scripted and feature films.”

He also flagged “future Direct to Consumer tech stacks and our innovations in transactional relationships – all of which represent the future of media.”

The company also wants to launch and finance Vice Studios, which Smith said could become “the go-to home for the next generation of great storytellers in feature films and scripted episodic content across the world.”

Vice’s assets include 13 digital channels, TV network Viceland, a print magazine, a branded content studio, and HBO’s documentary series Vice and daily news show Vice News Tonight.

Variety first reported today’s layoffs.

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