Job cuts at Vice Australia as it shrinks local offices and closes Virtue

As part of the global cuts across the Vice network, the media business has confirmed its Sydney and Melbourne offices have been significantly reduced in numbers.

While the business denies it will completely close the two offices, only one writer and one editor remain. Virtue, the creative agency run by Vice, has closed its outpost in Australia and will now be run from Singapore.

Vice is shrinking its Australian outposts

Despite confirmation from Vice that offices would remain in both Sydney and Melbourne, Crikey reports the lease has ended in Melbourne and the office will close.

Vice had around 50 staffers in Australia at the beginning of 2019, but it cut 10% of staff shortly after and numbers have dwindled since. Its New Zealand office was closed at the same time.

Two weeks ago global CEO Nancy Dubac announced 155 staff would be cut across the business – Vice Media Group owns Vice, Refinery29 and i-D, among other media brands – the equivalent of 5% of its headcount.

55 of the roles were cut from its US publishers and 100 globally, including the cuts from Australia.

“The reality is that some tough decisions had to be made primarily around our digital teams. Currently, our digital organization accounts for around 50% of our headcount costs, but only brings in about 21% of our revenue. Looking at our business holistically, this imbalance needed to be addressed for the long-term health of our company,” Dubac said in a company-wide memo.

“I want you to know that we’ve done absolutely everything we could to protect these positions for as long as possible, and your time and contributions will forever be part of who we are and who we will become,” said Dubac.

Vice crime writer Mahmood Fazal announced on Twitter he had lost his job, the same week he was nominated for a Walkley Award. He said he was thankful to have been able to provide a platform for the ‘forgotten, downtrodden and displaced voices’ he wrote about.

Vice’s cuts aren’t the first to hit Australia. Buzzfeed News Australia closed last month, as did 10 Daily. News Corp’s closed yesterday.


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