Vice Media is no longer the cool kid: hiring freeze, social stall, and shrinking staff

3 months ago by James Mattone in News, Trends

Recently, Elle Magazine profiled Nancy Dubec, the relatively new CEO of Vice ($VICEMEDIA) who previously invested in the company while at A+E Networks While detailing what she's accomplished at the company so far, including sending an all-staff e-mail on her first day in Comic Sans, it asks one question in its title:

"Can Nancy Dubec save Vice?"

So far, it seems that she's planning to do so by clearing headroom and cutting costs, following the way of the media organizations Vice was trying not to emulate since its inception.

Recently, Dubec instituted a hiring freeze at Vice, which explains the drastic reduction in job openings that we've reported previously. Today, hiring is at an almost crawl compared to earlier in the summer, with only 24 job openings listed on the site as of yesterday.

At the same time, the number of Vice Media employees on LinkedIn fell steadily since July. With reports that Dubec is looking to shrink Vice's 12 plus online verticals to five or less, Vice Media's employee count is hovering around 3,400.

As Vice continues its overhaul, it has started to slow its growth on Facebook. In years prior, Vice Media has easily pulled over a million likes during a single calendar year. In 2018, it has yet to break half a million gained.

A different story when it comes to sentiment

Despite a shrinking staff and a peaking social media profile, employees who have reviewed the company anonymously seem to be showing a renewed confidence in their CEO and company, according to data from Glassdoor.

After experiencing a slight boom in CEO approval and Business Outlook ratings in the early summer, both fell to the lower 40's over the fall. However, both metrics have been kicked up by several percentage points, which could be due to new positive reviews, the removal of old negative reviews that are now non-applicable to the company, or both.

With 2018 being an interesting year for media — from being called the "enemy of the people" and having the U.S. be declared a dangerous country for journalists to multiple outlets having to shed reporters — the ongoing situation at Vice Media is one worth watching.

James Mattone

James is the Associate Editor at Thinknum Media, and he has an interest in video games, music, and tech news. You can find him on Twitter @TheJamesMattone.

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