Vice Media to Lay Off 250 in Restructuring

Will shutter weekly HBO show, daily program will remain on premium network
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Vice Media will lay off about 250 people across its media properties, roughly 10% of its workforce, as it restructures its operations around specific countries.

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The layoffs come as the media company realigns its global business regionally and around specific segments -- Studios, News, TV, Digital and its in-house ad agency Virtue -- instead of by country of operation.

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The Hollywood Reporter first reported news of the layoffs.

Vice Media CEO Nancy Dubuc, who joined the company in May 2018 from A+E Networks, issued a memo to employees this morning concerning the restructuring. Sources familiar with the company confirmed the THR article and that the memo was sent.

"Having finalized the 2019 budget, our focus shifts to executing our goals and hitting our marks," Dubuc wrote in the memo according to THR. "We will make Vice the best manifestation of itself and cement its place long into the future."

One casualty of the restructuring will be Vice’s weekly news show on HBO. The premium network confirmed a report in the Wall Street Journal that Vice Weekly will end, but that the daily Vice News Tonight program will remain on the service.

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The layoffs are expected to affect every department at Vice Media. According to THR employees in the U.S., U.K. and Canada were notified today (Feb. 1), while the rest of the layoffs will occur over the coming weeks. However, the Journal reported that Vice's digital news desk -- which accounts for about 20% of its revenue -- is expected to grow.

This is the second time that Vice has had to layoff workers. In July 2017, it laid off about 60 workers as it focused more on video after a $450 million investment from private equity concern TPG Capital. In November, reports said the company would pare 10% to 15% of its workforce through attrition, after falling short of revenue targets. It was the second year in a row that Vice failed to meet revenue expectations.

Layoffs are becoming increasingly common in the digital space — BuzzFeed shed about 220 workers in January and last year, Refinery29 said it would lay off about 10% of its employees. 

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