Vice Media files for bankruptcy
Vice Media, the company that once dominated the next generation of digital journalism, filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy on Monday. The brand has become the latest in a long line of media conglomerates facing economic troubles.
Vice will enter into a purchasing agreement with a number of its vendors to try and stay afloat, according to a filing in New York federal court. The group, led by Fortress Investment Group, Soros Fund Management, and Monroe Capital, will purchase Vice's assets for $225 million and take on liabilities as high as $1 billion, the filing said.
This sales process will "position Vice 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," Vice co-CEOs Bruce Dixon and Hozefa Lokhandwala said in a press release.
The bankruptcy represents a fall from grace for one of the most notable journalism companies in recent years. First founded in 1994 as a magazine, Vice gradually grew throughout the 2010s to encompass numerous media outlets, including its eponymous Vice News and Emmy-winning "Vice News Tonight" television program, as well as lifestyle brands like Motherboard and Refinery29. Vice attracted big money investments from companies like Disney and 21st Century Fox, and was at one point valued at $5.7 billion, NPR reported.
However, like many new-age media companies, Vice "had trouble wringing profits from [readers], and the bulk of digital ad dollars went to the major tech platforms," The New York Times reported. The culling began when Vice announced last month it was undergoing a "restructuring" that would result in "Vice News Tonight" being shut down.
The company has now become the latest in a string of media companies to either shutter their newsrooms or implement large-scale layoffs.