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Vice Media pushes back on WSJ report of plan for 'substantial layoffs'

Vice Media pushes back on WSJ report of plan for 'substantial layoffs'
© Greg Nash

Vice Media is pushing back at a report Tuesday in The Wall Street Journal that said Vice Media Group has a plan for "substantial layoffs" at its company websites amid the coronavirus pandemic.

The Journal obtained what it described as "a planning document," which calls for layoffs of 300 Vice employees in its digital operations unit, which includes both Vice News and Refinery29, an online publication that focuses on women.

According to the Journal, the cuts would save $40 million, but could also lead to a 30 percent drop in digital traffic due to falling content.

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A Vice Media Group spokesperson tells The Hill that the plan has not been "vetted or endorsed" by Vice Media Group and that no decisions at the company have been made.

"The leaked information obtained by the WSJ has not been vetted or endorsed as a plan by VICE Media Group. This information also does not reflect VMG standard global reporting metrics and while all media companies are taking steps to plan for precautionary measures during COVID-19, no decisions at VMG have been made," a Vice spokesman told The Hill in an email.

Vice was reportedly struggling to meet revenue expectations in recent years before the pandemic struck.

In February 2019, Vice Media laid off approximately 250 workers in cuts that included its television production studios and news department. Last week, Vox Media announced it was furloughing 100 employees in an attempt to avoid layoffs.