VICE Cuts Staff, Cancels ‘VICE News Tonight’

The VICE Media Group (VMG) is cutting staff and ending its flagship news broadcast program “VICE News Tonight.” VMG co-CEOs Bruce Dixon and Hozefa Lokhandwala announced the layoffs in a memo obtained by Deadline on Thursday. In their memo, the two CEOs said they were pursuing staff cuts in “response to the current market conditions and business realities facing VMG and the broader news and media industry.” The CEOs said that while they were pursuing these cuts, they would still work to keep VICE’s news wing running. “To be incredibly clear, VICE News is core to VICE Media Group and fundamental to our business,” Dixon and Lokhandwala wrote. “We are NOT exiting the news business, but we are changing the shape of VICE News to position the whole Company for long-term opportunities and improve how we deliver important, ground-breaking journalism well into the future.” The memo details Deadline published did not specify exactly how many VMG employees would be cut. However, the company’s employee union indicated the layoffs would impact “dozens of unit members and around 100 employees overall.” In addition to the staff cuts, Dixon and Lokhandwala said “VICE News Tonight” is now scheduled to air its last episode sometime in May. The program premiered in October 2016, and was deliberately formatted to cover a variety of topics and even long-form documentary-style reporting with “no ads, no anchors, and no censors.” The weekly broadcast program originally aired on HBO, but was brought over to VICE TV after its first three seasons. The two VMG CEOs said VICE News will be streamlined to “focus on our growing digital video business and our News documentary and series production business for VTV and distribution partners worldwide.” Dixon and Lokhandwala said the plan to cancel “VICE News Tonight” and cut staff will also help “accelerate VICE News’ transition” over to platforms where the service is most successful, including VMG-owned channels and streaming services like Paramount+ with Showtime, FAST Channels, YouTube, TikTok, and Twitch. The CEOs said the VICE News division will also continue to make documentary programming for Netflix, HBO Max, and Tubi. News Media Layoffs VMG’s layoffs come amid a wave of job cuts across the news media industry. Last week, Insider Inc.—previously known as Business Insider—announced plans to cut about 100 jobs, around 10 percent of the organization’s staff. Buzzfeed shuttered its hard news arm, Buzzfeed News. Buzzfeed founder and CEO Jonah Peretti admitted some mismanagement in the company, but also attributed his decision to the “’declining stock market,’ a slowdown in digital advertising, and shifts in audience behavior.” Last week, Fox News decided to cut political commentator Dan Bongino. Fox News began this week by announcing it had also decided to part ways with primetime host Tucker Carlson, who had led one of the network’s most successful shows, the eponymous “Tucker Carlson Tonight.” CNN host Don Lemon announced on Monday that he had also been fired from the cable news network. The VICE Union attributed the layoffs at VICE to mismanagement by VMG’s leadership. “These workers are suffering the consequences of years of poor decisions they played no part in,” the employee union posted on Twitter. “This is not the first time VICE has made large layoffs, and it will likely not be the last,” the VICE Union continued. “As with every cut VICE makes, we will celebrate our colleagues’ work while lamenting the company’s mismanagement that has resulted in them being let go.

VICE Cuts Staff, Cancels ‘VICE News Tonight’

The VICE Media Group (VMG) is cutting staff and ending its flagship news broadcast program “VICE News Tonight.”

VMG co-CEOs Bruce Dixon and Hozefa Lokhandwala announced the layoffs in a memo obtained by Deadline on Thursday. In their memo, the two CEOs said they were pursuing staff cuts in “response to the current market conditions and business realities facing VMG and the broader news and media industry.”

The CEOs said that while they were pursuing these cuts, they would still work to keep VICE’s news wing running.

“To be incredibly clear, VICE News is core to VICE Media Group and fundamental to our business,” Dixon and Lokhandwala wrote. “We are NOT exiting the news business, but we are changing the shape of VICE News to position the whole Company for long-term opportunities and improve how we deliver important, ground-breaking journalism well into the future.”

The memo details Deadline published did not specify exactly how many VMG employees would be cut. However, the company’s employee union indicated the layoffs would impact “dozens of unit members and around 100 employees overall.”

In addition to the staff cuts, Dixon and Lokhandwala said “VICE News Tonight” is now scheduled to air its last episode sometime in May. The program premiered in October 2016, and was deliberately formatted to cover a variety of topics and even long-form documentary-style reporting with “no ads, no anchors, and no censors.” The weekly broadcast program originally aired on HBO, but was brought over to VICE TV after its first three seasons.

The two VMG CEOs said VICE News will be streamlined to “focus on our growing digital video business and our News documentary and series production business for VTV and distribution partners worldwide.”

Dixon and Lokhandwala said the plan to cancel “VICE News Tonight” and cut staff will also help “accelerate VICE News’ transition” over to platforms where the service is most successful, including VMG-owned channels and streaming services like Paramount+ with Showtime, FAST Channels, YouTube, TikTok, and Twitch. The CEOs said the VICE News division will also continue to make documentary programming for Netflix, HBO Max, and Tubi.

News Media Layoffs

VMG’s layoffs come amid a wave of job cuts across the news media industry.

Last week, Insider Inc.—previously known as Business Insider—announced plans to cut about 100 jobs, around 10 percent of the organization’s staff.

Buzzfeed shuttered its hard news arm, Buzzfeed News. Buzzfeed founder and CEO Jonah Peretti admitted some mismanagement in the company, but also attributed his decision to the “’declining stock market,’ a slowdown in digital advertising, and shifts in audience behavior.”

Last week, Fox News decided to cut political commentator Dan Bongino. Fox News began this week by announcing it had also decided to part ways with primetime host Tucker Carlson, who had led one of the network’s most successful shows, the eponymous “Tucker Carlson Tonight.”

CNN host Don Lemon announced on Monday that he had also been fired from the cable news network.

The VICE Union attributed the layoffs at VICE to mismanagement by VMG’s leadership.

“These workers are suffering the consequences of years of poor decisions they played no part in,” the employee union posted on Twitter.

“This is not the first time VICE has made large layoffs, and it will likely not be the last,” the VICE Union continued. “As with every cut VICE makes, we will celebrate our colleagues’ work while lamenting the company’s mismanagement that has resulted in them being let go.