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Hiring at Vox Media and Vice sinks 40% as both make major acquisitions

2 weeks ago by Joshua Fruhlinger in Facts, News, Trends

Last week, Vox Media ($VOXMEDIA) announced that it would acquire New York Magazine. The news was announced by The New York Times, which has had the scoop on a number of Vox acquisitions and moves, including the acquisition of the Wall Street Journal alumn publication ReCode, the acquisition of Curbed.com, and even the hiring of Ezra Klein to launch Vox.com.

The Vox Media moves don't just get covered by The New York Times, but they also tend to be preceded by hiring lulls in anticipation of newly arriving staff. This isn't unique to Vox: mergers are often preceded by hiring freezes, as we've seen the trend in other industries like banking and even pharma.

This time around is no different: job openings listed at Vox's careers site tumbled 39% between August and September, from 88 to 54 openings.

Now that the New York Magazine acquisition news is out, Vox appears to be opening new positions - those 54 openings have now turned into 60.

Recent shifts in hiring strategy at Vox over the past quarter reveal a renewed focus on Sales and Revenue Operations along with a drop in hiring for Product, Technology & Design.

The acquisition also comes at a time in which workforce growth at Vox appers to have stalled, as tracked by the number of LinkedIn members listing the company as their employer.

The pre-M&A hiring pattern found at Vox extends to Vice Media ($VICEMEDIA), another new media player that's gone through its share of ups and down in recent years.

Just this week, Vice announced that it would be acquiring Refinery 29 in a deal that has some media industry analysts predicting layoffs as part of the merger. 

Heading into this acquisition, hiring at Vice slowed by 40% in the same time period at Vox's 39% drop. As of this week, Vice lists only 27 openings.

Vice Media's employee count as tracked via LinkedIn has seen a steady drop since mid-2018. The company has been through several rounds of difficult layoffs. It is estimated that it will pick up about 400 employees in Refinery 29.

About the Data: 

Thinknum tracks companies using information they post online - jobs, social and web traffic, product sales and app ratings - and creates data sets that measure factors like hiring, revenue and foot traffic. Data sets may not be fully comprehensive (they only account for what is available on the web), but they can be used to gauge performance factors like staffing and sales. 

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Joshua Fruhlinger

Joshua has been writing about technology, lifestyle, and business for over 20 years. He's one of the original writers and editors for Engadget, and still writes a...

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