January 29, 2023

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Vox Media layoffs: Cut 7% of workforce, about 130 employees

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Digital media firm Vox Media, home to brands including New York magazine, Vulture, The Verge, Thrillist and NowThis, is cutting 7% of its workforce in the division, cutting about 130 jobs.

Vox Media CEO Jim Bankoff announced the employee cuts in a memo Friday, citing a “challenging economic environment impacting our business and industry.” The layoffs will hit “several different teams across revenue, editorial, operations and core services,” according to Bankoff.

“Unfortunately, in this economic climate, we are not able to sustain projects and business areas that have not performed as expected, where we see the greatest opportunities in the coming years, or less core where we do not. To support ongoing investment that could lead to a prolonged downturn. Reason enough,” Bankoff wrote in the memo. “Despite the dedication of the many talented people involved in these initiatives, we have to step back.” (Read the full memo below.)

After Vox Media laid off 39 employees in July 2022, which represented just under 2% of its workforce at the time.

The WGA East-affiliated union representing Vox Media’s editorial and video staff said in a statement Friday Twitter post“We are outraged at the way the company has approached these layoffs, and are currently discussing how to best serve those who lost their jobs.”

Vox Media merged in December 2021 with Group Nine Media, a digital media roll-up venture whose backers included Discovery. It was created after Vox Media acquired New York Media, the publisher of New York magazine, in 2019 in an all-stock deal designed to achieve synergies of scale.

The company’s current stable of brands includes Curbed, The Cut, The Dodo, Eater, Grub Street, Intelligencer, New York Magazine, NowThis, Polygon, Popsugar, Recode, SB Nation, Seeker, The Strategist, Thrillist, The Verge, Vox and Vulture.

Read Bankoff’s memo:

Subject: Important Company Updates

Greetings to all,

Due to the challenging economic environment impacting our business and industry we have made the difficult decision to eliminate the roles of approximately 7% of our staff across the division.

For those whose roles have been eliminated, Chief People Officer Annie Trombatore will notify you in an email within the next 15 minutes, and your People business partner will follow up with a meeting to talk through a severance package, including options to increase selected benefits provided by Vox Media. Given the number of people affected today, we are notifying them via email in an effort to inform them as soon as possible. Several different teams across revenue, editorial, operations and core services are affected by the layoffs. I’ll refrain from sharing department-level details here, so those leaving the company can hear firsthand first, but senior leadership will provide more details later in the day and early next week, as appropriate.

We are experiencing and expecting more of the same economic and financial pressures that others in the media and tech industries are facing. This difficult situation has motivated us to take other steps in the last few months to reduce costs. We have suspended most new hires and significantly reduced discretionary spending. While we do not expect further layoffs at this time, we will continue to evaluate our outlook, maintain tight controls on expenses, and consider implementing other cost-saving measures as needed.

Unfortunately, in this economic climate, we are unable to sustain projects and business areas that have not performed as expected, less core than where we see the greatest opportunities.
We do not have sufficient rationale to support ongoing investment in the coming years, or where there may be a prolonged recession. Although dedicated, many virtuous people are involved in these
Initiatives, we need to scale back.

It is important to note that the brands in our portfolio are as relevant to their audiences and marketplace as ever We continue to do outstanding work across our editorial features and business
The line is fundamentally strong in our company; These risks are largely driven by temporary macroeconomic forces that are affecting almost all businesses in our sector.

By saying that | Realize that we must constantly evolve and improve if we want to be the leading modern media company and the strongest possible workplace. Especially during recessions,
Operational discipline and strategic focus will be key to Vox Media’s success. Audience engagement and loyalty will be our primary focus. We will prioritize our brand’s core mission and their values
Audience and our business partners. We will continue to diversify revenues and media formats by focusing on areas of the business where we expect significant, stable growth.

| I’m incredibly grateful to our colleagues who are leaving Vox Media today. Your talents and contributions have undoubtedly made us a better company. Although these decisions were made by
The challenging economic environment and the need to prioritize our resources does not make this news any easier.

For those who continue to run Vox Media, please support your colleagues today. We will schedule an all-hands over the next few weeks and meet more frequently in the first half of the year
Provide business updates.

thanks,

the gym

Jim Bankoff – CEO

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