Vox Media Laying Off 39 Staffers, Under 2% of Headcount, Amid ‘Economic Uncertainty’

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UPDATED: Vox Media, the media company whose brands include New York Magazine, The Verge, Vulture, Thrillist and Popsugar, is laying off 39 employees in a new cost-cutting move the CEO says is in response to “economic uncertainty.”

The cuts, representing less than 2% of Vox Media’s roughly 2,000 workforce, come seven months after it merged with Group Nine Media, a digital media roll-up venture whose backers included Discovery Communications.

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The latest Vox Media cuts include layoffs in sales and recruiting departments, as well as in certain editorial teams, including at Thrillist, the lifestyle brand that became part of the company through the Group Nine deal.

Those let go include Thrillist entertainment writers Esther Zuckerman and Emma Stefansky, both of whom tweeted that they were laid off from the outlet.

“I’m writing this morning to share the difficult news that today we will be informing colleagues, comprising under 2% of the company, that they no longer have roles at Vox Media,” Vox Media chief Jim Bankoff wrote in a memo to staff Wednesday obtained by Variety. “These decisions were made against the backdrop of economic turbulence, in the media and technology industries in particular.”

According to Bankoff, supply-chain issues across industries are “reducing marketing and advertising budgets… Our aim is to get ahead of greater uncertainty by making difficult but important decisions to pare back on initiatives that are lower priority or have lower staffing needs in the current climate.”

Vox Media also will take steps to “decrease hiring and reduce non-essential expenses,” Bankoff told staff in the memo, which had the subject line “Economic uncertainty & actions: important company update.”

“While we need to slow down the rapid pace of hiring that we experienced last year and expected to continue into 2022, we will continue to hire for roles that are critical to our work,” the CEO wrote.

In 2019, Vox Media acquired New York Media, publisher of New York Magazine, in an all-stock deal designed to gain synergies of scale, before inking the merger deal with Group Nine in December 2021.

The company’s current stable of brands comprises Curbed, The Cut, The Dodo, Eater, Grub Street, Intelligencer, New York Magazine, NowThis, Polygon, Popsugar, Recode, SB Nation, Seeker, The Strategist, Thrillist, The Verge, Vox and Vulture.

Axios first reported news of the Vox Media layoffs.

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