Vice is shifting its priorities, and it appears that some of its category-specific verticals will be affected by the shakeup. As reported by Variety, the media company will lay off approximately 2% of its 3,000 employees (i.e. 60 employees) across multiple divisions. One of the people who has lost his job is Vice Sports editor-in-chief Jorge Arangure, who wrote on Twitter that the athletically-inclined hub “will cease to exist as a site.”
Variety’s report surmises that Vice is opting for its layoffs in order to devote more resources to international development and video production. That assertion is backed up by the statement Vice CEO Shane Smith offered when his company announced a $450 million funding round last month. “This will allow us to build up the largest millennial video library in the world – enabling Vice to widen our offering to include news, food, music, fashion, art, travel, gaming, lifestyle, scripted and feature films,” he said at the time.
Such a reshuffling of corporate priorities will not come without casualties, and two of them appear to be Vice Sports and Thump. The former, which launched in 2014 on the channel formerly known as The NOC, earned praise for its human interest stories. The latter, which was devoted to electronic music, will see its own four-year run as a standalone site come to an end.
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Vice Sports will still exist and will be more inclined toward video production, while content that would have previously fallen under the Thump umbrella is now expected to be distributed through the main Vice website.