Vice Media cancels flagship show, announces ‘painful’ layoffs

Announcement comes after BuzzFeed last week said it was closing its news division.

Vice Media is the latest media outlet to announce layoffs [File: Mario Tama/Getty Images]

Vice Media has announced “painful” cuts including the cancellation of its flagship news show in the latest round of cutbacks to hit the struggling news business.

The youth-focused media group said on Thursday it will cancel popular TV program “Vice News Tonight” as part of a restructuring that will result in layoffs.

“In response to the current market conditions and business realities facing VMG and the broader news and media industry, we are moving forward on some painful but necessary reductions, primarily across our News business,” co-CEOs Bruce Dixon and Hozefa Lokhandwala said in a memo to employees.

The number of layoffs was not specified, although sources told CNN dozens of employees would be affected.

The cuts come after BuzzFeed last week announced it was closing its news division and FiveThirtyEight founder Nate Silver said on Tuesday he expected to exit ABC News amid job cuts at its parent company Disney.

Other media outlets including CNN, The Washington Post, NPR, Vox Media and NBC News have also slashed employees in recent months.

The layoffs reflect an industry-wide funding crisis that has raised existential questions about the future of journalism. Newsroom employment in the United States fell by more than one-quarter between 2008 and 2021 amid the collapse of the traditional print advertising model, according to the Pew Research Center.

Vice, known for its brash, youth-focused content, was once hailed as one of the most promising names in digital media and at its peak was valued at nearly $6bn.

But like other digital media startups, Vice has struggled to turn lofty expectations into a sustainable business model in the post-print advertising landscape dominated by Google and Meta.

Last month, the Wall Street Journal reported that Group Black had submitted a bid to buy Vice for about $400m.

Source: Al Jazeera and news agencies