Vice Media Group, which incorporates Refinery29, is shedding 155 workers, or greater than 5% of its complete worldwide headcount, in response to income declines stemming from the coronavirus pandemic.
About two-thirds of the employees cuts (round 100) can be worldwide, with 55 layoffs affecting U.S. workers, Vice Media Group CEO Nancy Dubuc wrote in an inside memo Friday obtained by Variety. The worldwide layoffs will occur over the subsequent few weeks, whereas the Brooklyn-based firm’s U.S. staffers can be let go Friday.
Within the memo, titled “The Course Forward,” Dubuc wrote, “Whereas dropping even one job looks like too many, these choices in the end relaxation with me and I guarantee you that we went to nice lengths to protect jobs.”
Vice Digital’s groups can be disproportionately affected by the layoffs. At present, the corporate’s digital group accounts for 50% of headcount prices, “however solely brings in about 21% of our income,” Dubuc stated in the memo. “ our enterprise holistically, this imbalance wanted to be addressed for the long-term well being of our firm.”
A former Vice Media worker advised Variety that the corporate already has been making layoffs over the past a number of weeks.
Based on Dubuc, Vice Media was capable of retain about 90% of the roles in the digital group by eliminating open roles throughout the corporate. As well as, the corporate is shifting “as many people as attainable” over to the rising Vice Information division.
After a few years of financial headwinds in digital promoting, Dubuc wrote, the scenario has turn into even worse: “[T]he squeeze is changing into a choke maintain. Platforms usually are not simply taking a bigger slice of the pie, however nearly the entire pie.”
In assertion, Vice Union, which represents editorial and different workers, claimed that for greater than a month firm administration “repeatedly refused to debate workshare applications, just like the one the Los Angeles Instances used to keep away from layoffs.”
“We perceive that the whole information business is hurting,” Vice Union’s assertion stated. “We don’t perceive why Vice selected to put off a lot of our colleagues in the center of a world pandemic as a substitute of exhausting all choices to avoid wasting these jobs.”
The layoffs come after Vice Media applied belt-tightening strikes on the finish of March, extending for a 90-day interval. These steps, that are at present efficient by June 30, embrace a sliding scale of pay cuts for workers incomes $100,000 or extra; a brief suspension on promotions; and a halt on company-matched 401(okay) contributions.
Vice Media employees who’re being pink-slipped will obtain severance pay; in addition, “everybody will be capable of hold their work-issued laptops” in addition to obtain outplacement providers, Dubuc stated in the memo. Within the U.S., laid-off workers will obtain prolonged well being advantages protection by the top of 2020.