Vice Media, the one-time digital media darling that has seen its value and influence greatly diminish in recent years, moved on Thursday to further hollow out its once prestigious news division, shutting down several shows and laying off dozens of staffers.
“To be clear, Vice News is not going away,” the company’s co-chief executives, Bruce Dixon and Hozefa Lokhandwala, said in a memo to staff obtained by CNN. “Vice will continue to produce digital news, as well as Vice News documentaries, both series and films, for FAST Channels, streaming services and other partners.”
In April, Vice Media ended “Vice News Tonight,” its flagship program, citing restructuring that would result in cuts across the organization, CNN previously reported. In May, Vice filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy ahead of a planned sale. In June, the digital media company was purchased by three investment companies, including Fortress Investment Group, for $350 million.
It was not immediately known which shows would be shut down, but Dixon and Lokhandwala said they had reached the end of their production cycle and had not been renewed by their distributors, adding that “certain roles” from the shows would be affected. A person familiar with the matter said “less than 100” staffers would be laid off.
The Vice union responded to the layoffs in a statement via X, formerly known as Twitter, on Thursday, accusing management of “contempt” for its workers and handling the actual layoff announcements in “sloppy fashion.”
A former senior Vice employee, who spoke on the condition of anonymity, described the cuts in brutal terms to CNN, saying that the notion the company is still committed to news is “not true” and that “it’s all a facade.”
The chief executives also said they would take the current moment to “restructure our overall corporate organization” by consolidating the newsroom’s five pillars into two lines of business — with publishing, news, and creative services under one line and studios along with TV and distribution under the other.
The company will also continue its market review, which could result in closures in different countries or markets, Dixon and Lokhandwala said, describing the decision as “an imperative in the current market environment and for the long-term health of the Company.”
CNN’s Oliver Darcy contributed to this report.