US Business News

Former Billion-Dollar Empire, Vice Media, Files for Bankruptcy

Vice Media, the once-thriving digital media company, has filed for bankruptcy. The company, which was valued at $5.7 billion in 2017, has struggled in recent years due to a combination of mismanagement, declining ad revenue, and the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Vice Media was founded in 1994 as a magazine focused on alternative culture and politics. It quickly gained a following among young people and expanded into other media formats, including video and digital. By the mid-2010s, Vice had become a major player in the media industry, with a global audience and a reputation for edgy, youth-oriented content.

In 2017, Vice received a $450 million investment from private equity firm TPG, which valued the company at $5.7 billion. At the time, Vice was seen as a rising star in the media world, with a growing audience and a reputation for producing content that appealed to millennials and Gen Z.

Recent Struggles

However, in the years since the TPG investment, Vice has struggled to maintain its momentum. The company has faced criticism for its workplace culture, which has been described as toxic and discriminatory. In 2019, a New York Times investigation revealed a pattern of sexual harassment and misconduct at the company.

One of the major factors contributing to Vice Media’s decline in recent years has been its workplace culture. The company has faced criticism for its treatment of employees, with reports of a toxic and discriminatory work environment. In 2019, a New York Times investigation revealed a pattern of sexual harassment and misconduct at the company.

Vice’s workplace culture issues were not limited to sexual misconduct. Former employees have also described a culture of bullying, favoritism, and discrimination.

In addition to these internal issues, Vice has also struggled with declining ad revenue. As more and more advertisers shift their budgets to digital platforms like Facebook and Google, traditional media companies like Vice have struggled to compete. In 2019, Vice laid off 10% of its staff in an effort to cut costs.

Bankruptcy Filing

In the previous month, Vice Media disclosed that it would be carrying out layoffs in its newsroom worldwide and discontinuing its international journalism brand, Vice World News. The company, however, confirmed that its plan is to continue covering global news and still retains journalists overseas. Vice Media also terminated its weekly televised program, “Vice News Tonight,” which had begun airing in 2016 and had over 1,000 episodes by the time it was cancelled.

On May 15, 2023, Vice Media filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy. The filing allows the company to restructure its debt and continue operating while it works to pay off its creditors. In a statement, Vice CEO Nancy Dubuc said that the bankruptcy filing was necessary to ensure the company’s long-term viability.

Future of Vice Media

Vice has joined the long list of media companies affected by the decline in digital advertising and evolving news consumption patterns. 

This trend has led to the closure of other news outlets including BuzzFeed News, NPR, CNN, ABC News, and Insider, among the other newsrooms that have also resorted to layoffs this year due to this ongoing industry crisis.


Vice Media’s bankruptcy filing marks the end of an era for the once-thriving digital media company. However, it’s important to note that this is not the end of Vice’s story. The company still has a loyal following and a reputation for producing innovative, boundary-pushing content. If Vice is able to navigate this period of financial uncertainty successfully, the company could emerge stronger and more focused than ever.

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