Workers Union Furious as Vice Media Announces Layoffs

( — On Nov. 9, Vice Media announced around 100 layoffs, prompting a reaction from employees affected by the layoff as well as the union representing Vice Media workers.

Vice Media co-CEOs Hozefa Lokhandwala and Bruce Dixon announced the layoffs in a memo to employees. The memo states that certain roles would be impacted by some shows not being “renewed with distributors.”

The union reacted to news of layoffs with a post on social media expressing “shock and surprise” that Vice was laying off more people who had “worked tirelessly over the years” to turn Vice Media “into a respected, award-winning media company.” The union stated that the layoffs “gutted” entire teams. The union also commented on the way the layoffs were announced to affected employees. It stated that “in a typically sloppy fashion,” the company had invited everyone, including those laid off, to “an all-hands ‘meeting’” that was actually a livestream that allowed no opportunity for questions.

Vice Media is also consolidating its five lines of business into two segments. One line will be Publishing, News, and Creative Services, which will be composed of publishing teams from entertainment and news, the in-house creative agency Virtue, as well as the company’s commercial group. A second line will be Studios, Television, and Distribution, which will be composed of Vice News Films, Vice TV, Vice Studios Group (Pulse Films and Vice Studios), and distribution.

According to Dixon and Lokhandwala, the company will continue its market review, which may result in closures in other markets or countries.

Vice Media laid off employees in April, citing restructuring, and ended its flagship program, “Vice News Tonight.” In May, the company filed for bankruptcy. Following the bankruptcy filing, top executives, including SVP of global news and entertainment Katie Drummond, left the company. The company was purchased for $350 million by three investment companies, including Fortress Investment Group, in June.

The layoffs bring Vice Media’s current employee count to just over 1,000, down from what at one time was 3,000 employees.

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