Ultra-Liberal Vice Media to Shutter News Website

[Photo Credit: By Knight Center for Journalism in the Americas, University of Texas at Austin from USA - Reformatting the News, CC BY 2.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=65170569]

Following unsuccessful attempts by owner Fortress Investment Group to sell the embattled digital publisher and its brands, Vice Media announced it will cease publishing content on its flagship website and is set to reduce its workforce by hundreds of employees.

The actions were detailed in an internal memo from Chief Executive Bruce Dixon

Dixon mentioned that Refinery29, the company’s women’s lifestyle-focused site, will remain as a stand-alone publishing business.

According to sources, the company is currently in advanced talks regarding the sale of Refinery29.

The recent staff reductions are a strategic move aimed at restoring profitability following the change in ownership of Vice last June.

According to a source familiar with Fortress’s plans, Vice is stepping back from the day-to-day operations of its consumer digital businesses due to the challenges Vice faces in reaching a large audience.

Vice is shifting its focus towards expanding its business-to-business media arm, which includes its production studio and creative agency.

The recent layoffs indicate the ongoing downfall of digital-media pioneers that once held high valuations, based on the belief that they could attract younger audiences and establish significant digital-advertising ventures.

Another digital media company, BuzzFeed, announced on Wednesday its intention to reduce its workforce by 16% and revealed the sale of Complex Networks, a digital publisher focusing on streetwear, music, and pop culture, for significantly less than its purchase price three years ago.

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