Vice Media Hits Partial Reset Through Hiring Freeze, Attrition & Trimming Sites

By Dominic Patten, Dawn C. Chmielewski


No one is losing their job at Vice Media right now, but no one is getting one either.

Facing some serious bottom line realities, the semi-saucy brand co-founded by Shane Smith has instituted a hiring freeze and will also cut back staff through a process of attrition, Deadline has confirmed.

Kicked off about a month ago by CEO Nancy Dubuc, we hear the plan aims to reduce staffing among the about 3,000 current employees by 10%-15% over the next year. Another part of Dubuc’s plan to strengthen Vice’s finances, first reported by the Wall Street Journal, is to trim the number of sites the company operates and fosters. That would, for instance, involve taking several music sites and putting them under the umbrella of the recognized Noisey banner to streamline content and traffic.

Accordingly, the once in-your-face brand started by Smith, Gavin McInnes and Suroosh Alvi in Montreal in the early 1990s will also look to play to its more recent strengths and scale up its TV productions like HBO’s Vice News Tonight over time.

“At a time of seismic change across the media landscape, VICE has never been better positioned to continue its remarkable growth, further cementing its status as one the most impactful and innovative youth brands worldwide,” the company said in a statement to Deadline on Wednesday. “From its deep library of critically-acclaimed programming, to its diversified revenue streams and channels across digital, mobile, television, film and branded content, VICE’s audience has never been bigger, more global, more diverse or younger.”

Former A+E Networks president and CEO Dubuc was named CEO of Vice Media  in March. She replaced Smith, who was resettled in the new position of executive chairman.

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