Vox Media is a major player in the media industry. It has been facing challenging times marked by recent layoffs. Vox Media told its workers last month that they were laying off around 4% of the staff. Job cuts have impacted various teams, including product, design, technology, and their animal-focused site, The Dodo.
The company, founded in 2011, owns popular brands like The Verge, Vox, and SB Nation. Let’s delve into the details of Vox Media’s layoffs. Also, exploring the reasons behind them and their potential implications for the company and the media landscape.
The company says they must do this because advertising could be doing better. Besides, they want to make sure people keep coming to their websites. They blame problems with ads and say that things on the internet keep changing.
The workers, who come together as a group called Vox Media Union, are upset. They say it’s bad timing because it’s the holiday season. They’re not happy that important jobs are being cut. They also mention that some people who are losing their jobs are part of their group.
The workers’ group at Vox Media said that this is the second time that many people have been laid off this year. They mentioned that those who reported on topics like climate change, policies, and technology are some of the ones being let go.
A reporter named Sara Morrison, who worked at Vox, also lost her job. She mentioned on a platform called X (which used to be Twitter) that she is now looking for a new job. Maybe even something outside of journalism because she thinks this industry is tough.
Vox Media, the company that owns Vox, says they are making these changes to continue serving their audiences. Or to keep the company financially stable. They mentioned that adapting to changes is something they’ve always done in this fast-moving industry.
About Vox Media
Vox Media, Inc. is a big company that started in 2011 and has its main offices in New York City. It was created by Jim Bankoff and Trei Brundrett. They included websites like SB Nation (for sports) and The Verge (for technology news).
Vox Media’s Websites:
They own many websites you might have heard of, such as New York, The Verge, Vox, SB Nation, Eater, and Polygon. Each website covers different topics, like news, sports, and technology.
How Vox Media Started:
SB Nation, a sports blog, was started in 2003. It was founded by Tyler Bleszinski, Markos Moulitsas, and Jerome Armstrong. In 2011, they hired people from AOL to create a new tech website called The Verge. Vox Media became the parent company for both SB Nation and The Verge.
More Websites and Expansion:
Vox Media grew even more by starting a gaming website called Polygon in 2012. They also acquired other websites like Curbed, Eater, and Racked. In 2014, they launched a new website called Vox.
Changes Over Time:
They’ve been making changes, like acquiring other websites and making new divisions. In 2019, they bought Epic magazine and merged with New York Media.
Challenges and Layoffs:
Sometimes, companies face challenges. In 2018, Vox Media had to let go of some employees, about 5% of their workforce. It was because they decided to focus on other things like podcasts.
More Changes and Acquisitions:
In 2019, they had to make changes because of a new law in California. They also acquired Cafe Studios in 2021 and Punch, a mixology website, in 2021.
In 2021, Vox Media announced it would acquire Group Nine Media, and this happened in February 2022. In 2023, Penske Media Corporation became a big part of Vox Media by acquiring a 20% stake.
The history of Vox Media represents the company that started small but has grown a lot over the years!
Why Did Vox Media Layoff?
Vox Media let go of about 130 workers, which is 7% of their total employees, in January 2023. Then, they had more layoffs in November, affecting around 4% of the staff. These job cuts impacted different teams, like the ones dealing with news, money, operations, and essential services.
The boss of Vox Media, Jim Bankoff, told the workers about the job cuts in a letter. He mentioned that the company faces challenges because the economy is not doing well. Not only this, but it’s also tough for businesses like theirs.
The company is doing this to prepare for uncertain economic times and the chance of things worsening. They want to ensure they are ready for a hard time ahead.
Severance Payment Provided By Vox Media To Its Affected Employees
The workers’ group mentioned that people who lost their jobs would get some money. This money is provided as a severance payment according to their work agreement.
They said they support these workers and others in the media industry who lost their jobs this year. The workers’ group wants things to be fair for everyone and for the media world to be more steady. They believe that job cuts like these make everything more uncertain and unfair for those still working.
The workers’ group finished by saying, “Because the company is dealing with money problems, they want the bosses to find a way to save money without letting more people go from the workers’ group. Many media companies have had to cut jobs, especially those focusing on digital content.” Now, let’s understand what Vox Media is!
Impact On Vox Media Employees
As we all know, the layoffs at Vox Media impacted several teams, including editorial, revenue, operations, and core services. Vox Media CEO Jim Bankoff informed the employees of the cuts in a memo citing “the challenging economic environment impacting our business and industry.” The company is trying to avoid economic uncertainty and a possible recession.
The layoffs have significantly impacted the employees who lost their jobs. The company’s union has objected to the releases. It is noted that journalists covering climate change, policy, and tech are among those affected. The league is discussing how to serve best those who lost their jobs. The layoffs have also caused concern among the remaining employees, who are worried about the future of the company and their job security.
Vox Media’s Response
The Vox Media Union responded to layoffs at its parent company, saying the action was “unconscionable.” The company has provided no further information or details in response to inquiries about these layoffs.
What Lies Ahead?
In December 2021, Vox Media partnered with Group Nine Media, the company behind NowThis and Thrillist. The big merger is supposed to be wrapped up early in 2022. The head honcho at Vox Media, Jim Bankoff, will keep steering the ship as CEO and chair. On the other side, Ben Lerer, the brain behind Group Nine, will jump on Vox’s board and stick around to share his wisdom on important plans.
In February 2023, Penske Media Corp. tossed its hat in the ring, becoming Vox Media’s biggest investor. Reports say Vox Media rakes in the green with $600-650 million each year. No further details have been revealed by the company so far.
Who Are The Top Competitors Of Vox Media?
Vox Media has several competitors in the media industry. Some of its notable competitors include:
- Group Nine Media
- The New York Times
- Gawker Media
- The Messenger
- OZY Media
- Gizmodo Media
- Mic Media
These companies operate in various aspects of digital media, covering news, entertainment, lifestyle, and more. They are competing with Vox Media for audience engagement and advertising revenue.
Other Recent Layoffs
With increasing economic difficulties, companies globally are wrestling with difficult decisions. This results in widespread layoffs and a significant reshaping of the employment landscape. Below, you’ll find a compilation of notable job cuts during this period of change.
They bought another company called VMware and now plan to let go of about 1,300 workers in California.
ByteDance (TikTok’s parent company):
They’re cutting jobs in their gaming section called Nuverse because it could have done betterll for the past two years. They’re also thinking about selling a part of their business.
This bank is trying to save money, and to do that, they might cut about 2,000 jobs.
They are changing things in the team that works on Alexa, the voice assistant. They’re doing this to focus more on artificial intelligence (AI).
This company is letting go of 338 people because the economy is not doing well, and there was a problem with leaked tax documents.
This bank is making some changes, too, and about 10% of their jobs might be cut.
It’s a tough time for some companies, and they are making these changes to save money and improve their businesses.
In the wrap, Vox Media’s recent layoffs reveal the challenges in the media industry. The impact on employees is significant as the company adapts to economic uncertainties. These changes reflect a broader trend in media, with various outlets facing similar struggles. While Vox Media aims to navigate these challenges for long-term sustainability, the human aspect must be addressed. Some employees covering crucial topics like climate change and tech face uncertainties.
The industry’s evolving landscape demands resilience, innovation, and a delicate balance between financial stability and preserving essential journalistic work. Only time will tell how these shifts reshape the future of media.