JUNE 4, 2019 — SOMEONE HAS TO BE HELD ACCOUNTABLE
In a staff email, the Senior Vice President for Digital has announced, “In making changes to the organizational structure of the digital editorial group, we had to make difficult decisions that mean Jonathan Smith and Rachel Schallom are no longer with the company.
Jonathan Smith, a ten-year Vice veteran served as the editor in chief for three years, and Rachel Schallom had been Vice’s managing editor for less than a year.
The red ink does not stop with these two and Disney has already written off more that $500 million for its 25% investment in Vice.
FEBRUARY 12, 2019 — LIVING THE HIGH LIFE WHEN YOU ARE LAYING OFF EMPLOYEES
The New York Post’s Page Six noted that Vice co-founder and Executive Chairman Shane Smith is a Las Vegas, Nevada high-roller.
“The bearded Canadian, who was said to be worth $1 billion two years ago, regularly flies with his family to Vegas on a private jet provided by the Mansion at MGM.
With Vice expecting $50 million in losses this year and a round of layoffs underway that will trim off 10 percent of its workforce, a former Vice staffer told me, “It’s disheartening.” The staffer said that “while Vice burns,” Smith seems to be “fiddling in Vegas.”
Smith plays blackjack in a private salon with $25,000 orange-colored chips known as “pumpkins.” There are no other players, just a dealer and a floorman.
When he wins, Smith is a big tipper, known in Vegas vernacular as a “George.” “He has been known to tip over $100,000,” my source said.” Read more at Page Six.
But what is more galling appears to be the hypocrisy of Vice whose headlines are troublesome.
New York City, New York-based Vice Media, started as a alternative-culture magazine in Montreal, Canada, has accounted that they be executing a reduction in force of approximately 10-percent of its employees in a restructuring move. An estimated 250 employees will be affected.
The company will be structured around five separate media business units, including studio, TV, digital, news and Virtue, the company’s advertising agency.
In a statement by Vice CEO Nancy Dubuc, “Having finalized the 2019 budget, our focus shifts to executing our goals and hitting our marks. To this end, we’ve had to make hard but necessary operating decisions. Starting today, the next phase of our plan begins as we reorganize our global workforce. Unfortunately, this means we will have to say goodbye to some of our Vice colleagues. The reorg at Vice will shift from a country-centric structure to one geared around the company’s five lines of business: studios, news, digital, TV and in-house ad agency Virtue. We will make Vice the best manifestation of itself and cement its place long into the future.”
It should come as no surprise as a number of media companies have struggled with declining revenues and increased costs while searching for a sustainable business model that differentiates their offerings from more well-funded competitors.
The company has been plagued by leadership changes involving allegations of have a “culture of sexual misconduct” and company-paid settlements with various involved parties. The founders published a mea culpa in the form of a statement to employees that noted “Listening to our employees over the past year, the truth is inescapable: from the top down, we have failed as a company to create a safe and inclusive workplace where everyone, especially women, can feel respected and thrive”
There are no guarantees in life, or promises for a bright future. Just because something bad hasn't happened yet, doesn't mean it won't. It can happen to anyone, anytime, anywhere ... are you now wondering, Am I Next?