Vice Media is filing for bankruptcy in a struggling industry
Vice Media, the company behind popular websites such as Vice and Motherboard, is reportedly preparing to file for bankruptcy, according to people familiar with its operations from New York Times. The news comes amid a wave of media layoffs and closures, including the recent announcement that BuzzFeed News will be shutting down.
Vice Media's decision to file for bankruptcy comes after it closed down its Vice News Tonight program. However, the company has received interest from five companies and is considering a sale to avoid bankruptcy. In the event of a bankruptcy, Fortress Investment Group, Vice's debt holder, could end up controlling the company.
Despite the potential bankruptcy, Vice is expected to continue operating normally. A Vice spokesperson did not directly comment on the bankruptcy report but said the company "has been engaged in a comprehensive evaluation of strategic alternatives and planning" and that "its board and stakeholders continue to be focused on finding the best path".
The potential bankruptcy is a significant challenge for Vice and the media industry as a whole, as several other media and technology firms have had to downsize in recent months due to a challenging economy and weak advertising market. BuzzFeed, for instance, recently announced that it would be shuttering its news division, which gained renown for its irreverent and probing coverage but ultimately succumbed to the challenges of its digital-first business model.
The news of Vice's potential bankruptcy comes after years of financial difficulties and top-executive departures. In 2017, the company was valued at $5.7bn and was among a group of fast-rising digital media ventures that commanded rich valuations as they courted millennial audiences. Despite Vice's initial success, the company has struggled in recent years, culminating in the closure of its Vice News Tonight program and the potential bankruptcy filing.Advertisement
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