×
You will be redirected back to your article in seconds

Vice Media Sets Hiring Freeze, Looks to Reduce Staff by Up to 15%

Vice Media, under recently installed CEO Nancy Dubuc, is in for some belt-tightening.

The company, looking to cut costs amid a revenue slowdown, has instituted a hiring freeze and is aiming to reduce the size of its employee base over the next year, sources confirmed. Vice is hoping to avoid layoffs per se, aiming to hit headcount-reduction targets by attrition — that is, by not hiring replacements for staffers who exit.

Vice’s workforce-reduction plans were first reported by the Wall Street Journal. According to the Journal, the company is looking to trim 10%-15% of its staff. A source familiar with the company said there’s no actual percentage Vice is targeting for the reduced headcount.

Dubuc, speaking last week at the New York Times’ DealBook conference, said Vice will become profitable again within the next fiscal year. The CEO noted that Vice was profitable a few years ago, before it invested heavily in the launch of the Viceland cable channel and expanding internationally.

In addition to the hiring freeze, Dubuc is planning to consolidate Vice’s roughly one dozen vertical sites (which the company calls “channels”), which include Motherboard, Broadly, Noisey, Vice Sports and Waypoint. It’s not entirely clear how many of the separate subject-focused sites could be naturally combined, so Vice may end up simply shutting some of them down or folding them into its broadest channel, Vice News. Two years ago, Vice’s then-CEO and co-founder Shane Smith had touted the launch of new channels as a big growth initiative.

The Brooklyn-based youth-skewing media company has been through staff cuts before. In July 2017, Vice cut around 2% of its 3,000 employees across multiple departments while at the same time expanding internationally and boosting video production.

The latest cost-cutting move comes as Vice’s revenue has flatlined. In 2018, the company internally projects revenue to be between $600 million and $650 million, flat with 2017, the Journal reported. Vice is expecting to lose over $50 million this year, although that’s an improvement over its loss of over $100 million last year, per the WSJ.

While Vice isn’t engaging in layoffs at this point, the company’s lack of growth and the new cost-cutting measures surely can’t be good for morale. Vice recently had 220 unfilled positions it was seeking to fill, prior to the hiring freeze, the Journal reported.

Dubuc, former CEO of A+E Networks, was tapped as CEO of Vice in the wake of a sexual-harassment scandal at the company that has resulted in the exit or firing of several execs. Co-founder Shane Smith has shifted into a new role as executive chairman.

As part of the Dubuc regime at Vice, president Andrew Creighton has left the company following the New York Times’ report that he paid an ex-Vice employee to settle a harassment claim. Vice previously said an independent review found the harassment claim “lacked merit” but was suspending him while his employment was under review.

More Digital

  • Ted Sarandos - Netflix

    Netflix's Ted Sarandos Says Disney Plus Launch Changes 'Nothing' for the Company

    Netflix chief content officer Ted Sarandos claims he’s not getting distracted by huge competitors — like Disney — rumbling into the company’s streaming turf. The exec was asked what has changed for Netflix with the Nov. 12 launch of Disney Plus, which the Mouse House boasted as having signed up over 10 million users so [...]

  • Game Awards OrchestraThe Game Awards, Show,

    Game Awards 2019 to Play on 53 Cinemark Screens Alongside 'Jumanji: The Next Level'

    This year’s Game Awards, recognizing the top video games, creators and esports of 2019, is coming to the silver screen. In a three-way partnership, the Game Awards, Cinemark Theatres and Sony Pictures are teaming on a superticket program pairing the Dec. 12 live simulcast of the 2019 Game Awards in 53 Cinemark locations with a [...]

  • Lilly Burns Tony Hernandez

    Jax Media Soars by Amplifying Unique Voices of Auteur TV

    Jax Media has emerged during the past few years as one of television’s busiest and buzziest production companies. The New York-based company headed by four partners — Tony Hernandez, Lilly Burns, John Skidmore and Brooke Posch — has an enviable track record of scouting new voices and executing stylish shows on a less-than-stratospheric budgets. The [...]

  • Variety Digital New Leaders

    Execs From Endeavor Audio, Group Nine Among Those Leading the Way in Digital

    Every year, Variety seeks to identify the next generation of leaders in the entertainment business, looking for representatives in the creative community, film, TV, music and digital. This year’s group has a heavy New York focus: We selected executives from forward thinking companies such as Spotify, Group Nine and Endeavor Audio, as well as writers [...]

  • John Carmack John Carmack, Chief Technical

    Oculus CTO John Carmack to Step Down

    One of the driving forces behind Facebook’s virtual reality efforts is leaving his post: Oculus CTO John Carmack announced Wednesday afternoon that he was transitioning to a “consulting CTO” role this week, and devote most of his time to new challenges outside of the company. “I will still have a voice in the development work, [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content