Vice to shut down website and sack hundreds of staff as free news model collapses

Vice is to lay off hundreds of employees and shut down its website months after being bought out of bankruptcy. In a memo to staff, chief executive Bruce Dixon said the media business would lay off “several hundred” staff members as it transitions to a “studio model”. The overhaul means Vice will shut its own website and instead focus on selling articles and videos, including news, to established media brands. Bosses said the company will also put more emphasis on social media in a bid to “take our content to where it will be viewed most broadly”. Mr Dixon said: “We create and produce outstanding original content true to the Vice brand. “However, it is no longer cost-effective for us to distribute our digital content the way we have done previously.” The memo also stated that Vice was in advanced discussions to sell Refinery29, its media brand aimed at young women. It marks the death-knell for the once buzzy youth focused website and another sad chapter in the decline of a media brand once valued at $5.7bn. Vice started life as a punk magazine in 1990s Montreal and became known for its coverage of drugs, sex and war zones. It captured...

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