Vice to stop publishing on website, lay off hundreds

Vice Media will lay off hundreds of employees and stop publishing on its website, the company’s leadership announced this week.

CEO Bruce Dixon said, “It is no longer cost effective to distribute our digital content the way we have done previously,” in a memo sent to employees and shared with several media outlets Thursday.

Vice will reduce its workforce by several hundred positions, Dixon said, noting the decision was “not made lightly” but that it was “the best path forward for Vice as we position the company for long-term financial and creative success.”

Vice is the latest in a slew of digital media companies that have been forced to lay off staff as a cost-cutting measure in an increasingly tough digital advertising market, increased fragmentation across the media landscape and fast-changing news consumption habits.

Earlier this year, news startup The Messenger shuttered less than a year after it launched, laying off hundreds of employees, while legacy media brands such as The Washington Post, the Los Angeles Times and others have also cut journalism jobs in recent months.

Vice Media was founded in the 1990s and has branched into the digital journalism, broadcast and creative services realms.

Last March, news outlet Semafor reported former CEO and co-founder Shane Smith sold more than $100 million of his own shares in the company after it raised $500 million in 2014.

Moving forward, Vice Media will “look to partner with established media companies to distribute” its content, Dixon said, as it looks to “streamline our overall operations.”

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