Vice Media officially filed for bankruptcy on Monday after months of distress, layoffs, and attempts to sell the company.
- The company’s Monday filing in New York federal court shows that a group of Vice’s lenders will purchase its assets for $225 million, taking on its liabilities and attempting to keep the company operational, Bloomberg reports.
- Fortress Investment Group is expected to assume control of the company through the bankruptcy process, NPR reports.
- The filing comes after hundreds of April layoffs and CEO Nancy Dubuc’s February departure, marking an unceremonious moment after the company reached a valuation peak of $5.7 billion in 2017.
- The company joins the short list of companies that filed for bankruptcy following a $1 billion or higher venture capital fundraising round, including FTX, Intarcia, Katerra, Quibi, Celsius Network, and Theranos, Pitchbook reports.
Why It’s Important
Digital media once stood at the precipice of a new revolution that threatened to overturn the giants of old media. Companies like Vice News, Gawker, HuffPost, and BuzzFeed were at the peak of that movement, but recent shifts in the media landscape have put more pressure on newer companies.
As we previously reported, BuzzFeed News shuttered its news division last month, laying off staff or transferring them to report for its sister publication HuffPost. Gawker filed for bankruptcy in 2016. Other larger media companies—including NPR, CNN, ABC News, and Insider—have faced similar recent challenges and layoffs.
Ben Smith, the former editor of BuzzFeed and current editor of Semafor, recently commented on the shifting landscape of online media in his new book Traffic: Genius, Rivalry, And Delusion In the Billion-Dollar Race To Go Viral. The websites that he helped raise up to dethrone The New York Times are struggling to survive, while the old guard has adapted to the internet and changed their business models.
“This accelerated court-supervised sale process will strengthen the company and position Vice for long-term growth. We look forward to completing the sale process in the next two to three months and charting a healthy and successful next chapter at Vice,” says Vice CEOs Bruce Dixon and Hozefa Lokhandwala.