Vice Media files for bankruptcy
Vice was known for edgy news and lifestyle content, with a digital-first model that disrupted the traditional media landscape
Vice Media has become the latest digital media company to falter after a meteoric rise.
The news outlet, popular for websites such as Vice and Motherboard, filed for bankruptcy protection in the United States while trying to finalize its sale to a group of lenders.
The consortium had submitted a credit bid of about $225 million (€206 million) "for substantially all of the Company's assets, in addition to the assumption of significant liabilities upon closing," Vice said. In 2017, Vice Media was valued at $5.7 billion.
The Vice Media announcement on Monday comes after BuzzFeed Inc. announced last month that it would shut down BuzzFeed News as part of a cost-cutting drive.
Vice continues to operate
Vice, known for its edgy news and lifestyle content, had initial success with a digital-first model that disrupted the traditional media landscape.
However, the company has been struggling as digital advertising revenue plummeted.
The bankruptcy announcement comes just weeks after the company announced it would cancel its flagship "Vice News Tonight" program amid a wave of layoffs expected to impact more than 100 of the company's 1,500-person workforce.
The company also said it would end its Vice World News brand.
On Monday, Vice's media, said its brands would continue to produce content and the company would keep paying its employees and vendors.
Chief executives Bruce Dixon and Hozefa Lokhandwala said the "accelerated court-supervised sale process" will strengthen the company and position it for long-term growth, "thereby safeguarding the kind of authentic journalism and content creation that makes VICE such a trusted brand for young people and such a valued partner to brands, agencies and platforms."
In the US, there has been a wider surge of media layoffs and closures, including job cuts at Gannett, NPR, the Washington Post and other organizations.