Vice Media has become the latest news putlet to layoff staff, following the likes of Mashable and Buzzfeed as upcoming digital media publications struggle to turn a profit in an increasingly saturated market.
In total, Vice Media has laid off around 20 staff based in the US, London and in two foreign correspondent positions as part of “restructuring plans”.
VICE Media, the parent company of VICE News, has a heavy emphasis on online video, a cable channel and a deal with HBO, which would seem to position it well among its competitors.
The news comes as Josh Tyrangiel, a former Bloomberg journalist is being promoted to oversee the company’s news division.
The lay-offs came to public attention on Tuesday after a Vice News foreign correspondent, Harriet Salem, said on Twitter that she and another foreign correspondent were losing their jobs, as well as the London editorial team.
In a statement, a VICE spokesperson said today’s cuts fit into a larger expansion plan that will ultimately see the company adding jobs and bolstering its daily video, documentary and text offerings.
Nearly 20 employees have joined the company of late, new hires are slated to join in the coming weeks, and VICE is planning to announce new editorial and production bureaus in Hong Kong and San Francisco later this year.
“The plan in place will expand VICE’s news offerings across digital and TV, continue the recent of wave of newsroom hires, add additional foreign bureaus and marshal the company’s existing news divisions into one cohesive powerhouse,” the statement read.
VICE News becomes the latest in a line of online media companies to announce layoffs or gloomy business news in the last few months.
In March, International Business Times laid off about 15 staffers, while in April BuzzFeed missed its 2015 revenue goals and was adopting more conservative financial targets in 2016.
In that same month, Mashable announced it was cutting about two dozen staffers in a sweeping reorganization that saw it do away with politics and world news coverage.
The increasing number of layoffs throughout the industry has led some to speculate whether digital media companies can stay afloat solely by maximizing impressions for digital display ads.
— Harriet Salem (@HarrietSalem) May 24, 2016