Vice Layoffs: Transitioning to more video content

Massively Necroed is my new band name

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Oof, here’s hoping everyone affected can land on their feet, and that waypoint aren’t affected.

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Hey, folks. The Waypoint mod team would like to reiterate that folks should be mindful about Rule 10, particularly this element:

Do not speculate on hires or personal lives of staff or personalities of this or any other site (and extend this courtesy to public figures in general); remember, this is a person’s livelihood. Their personal lives are not content.

We know that this comes from a place of wanting the best for staff members, but this kind of speculation can easily veer into uncomfortable, intrusive, or unhelpful for anyone involved.

With that said, we share the sentiments of hoping this affects as few people as possible, inside or outside Waypoint, and that anyone who is affected can land on their feet.


e: This post was made in response to a linked story from the Hollywood Reporter, ‘Vice Media to Reorganize, Lay Off 10 Percent of Staff (Exclusive)’.

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So an entire industry pivoted to video(cut staff) due to Facebook faking video engagement numbers, and 2 years later what has the industry learned? Nothing apparently, Buzzfeed and Yahoo are doing the exact same thing, burning 5-15% of their employees as a sacrifice to appease some bean counters.

Chasing quarterly profits and short term goals creates these absurd reward structures that benefit rapidly growing and slashing labor pools, instead of growing and maintaining a quality employee base. Even private companies like Vice aren’t immune to these forces, and I can’t help but think that every 2 years there’s going to be another Vice cull. Perhaps I’m being fatalist here, but until captial incentives change, this will just keep happening.

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Austin tweeted saying the article isn’t accurate regarding Waypoint.

Also Patrick posted this on Resetera.

So hopefully that means they aren’t hit too bad or at all!

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I’m just posting this tweet from Austin Walker, as there’s been some speculation going around on Twitter based on a particular story (which is part of why I re-linked to the Hollywood Reporter story):

@Protome To be more specific, there was the initial Hollywood Reporter story (linked above) and a Digiday story (which hasn’t been shared here). The latter originally claimed that Waypoint was particularly up for cutting (this has now been updated, as Walker says here), but were passed around quite a bit on Twitter and ResetEra.

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Yep, my bad! I thought the digiday article had been posted here too!

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No problem – just wanted to slide in with the clarification to avoid anyone who might only be looking here rather than on Twitter/ResetEra.

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I am so incredibly relieved.

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me an hour ago:

F2AUx5vZKyafBp17TmcdCGew1EM%3D

me now:

473071

(to be clear, holy shit this is actually bad and is a shit move on Vice’s part and i hope everyone effected lands on their feet)

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Unions are good, ya all. Don’t ever forget it. Don’t let your boomer parents tell you otherwise.

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Unions fight for us. Together, we are strong.

Capitalism is just feudalism with more steps.

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This is ultimately where I land on this from a non-mod perspective. We don’t know how the cuts will fall, but the pattern of BuzzFeed and Refinery29 (and Mic, and…) leaves me little hope that it isn’t going to result in immensely talented people being out of work.

Even if they aren’t names and faces I could confidently say I would miss now, it’s still immensely disappointing. It sets up unfair comparisons between those laid off and those who remain.

I understand where that “phew” reaction might come from, but I do think we need to push back on it. Even if it doesn’t affect us, someone else is losing a favourite writer or someone doing valuable work is getting shuttered by a management team.

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We can’t talk about media without talking about google and facebook. With the way the have both cannibalized media profits, part of the discussion needs to start at monopoly/trust busting. They have created and destroyed companies with minor changes in their algorithms, and continue to take ad revenue from the media companies. I’m not sure what the solution to this would look like, as this isn’t really my area of expertise, but these discussions can’t happen without an acknowledgement of the giants.

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Wait is Vice still “Pivoting to Video”? Hasn’t that been proven to be a complete sham? Why is everyone still doing this?

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I can’t speak to Vice strategy, but it’s worth noting that there’s two waves of discussion this thread from the initial discussion to a new one for the new round of layoffs (from this post down), so the comments upwise in the thread aren’t reflective of the current discussion.

(I will probably give this thread a lock when this discussion peters out so we make a new thread next time… note to self.)

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I don’t think so. I think people are bringing it up because it led to the massive redistribution of resources/investment in that pivot, and when it didn’t pay off, these organizations were left with a lot of embarrassing and harmful cost-cutting by way of layoffs of other departments which never had anything to do with the pivot in the first place.

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This tread got necroed, but I don’t think its unrelated. All the media companies that pivoted to video are pivioting again recently, because, as you correctly point out, the pivot to video was a sham.

This is a great piece https://talkingpointsmemo.com/edblog/why-the-outlook-for-digital-behemoths-is-worse-than-you-think

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It’s worth noting too that Vice projected wild growth in 2014 and it’s possible that we’re seeing the results of overreach when $1bn in revenue didn’t materialize: https://www.forbes.com/sites/pascalemmanuelgobry/2014/03/31/vice-media-ipo/#1d5573b01a9e

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