Vox Media Announces Layoffs Of 7% Of Workforce


Vox Media, parent company of brands including Vox, New York, Recode, Now This and other digitial titles, announced that it was cutting about 7% of its workforce.

The company has about 1,900 employees.

In a memo to staff, CEO Jim Bankoff wrote that the job reductions were “due to the challenging economic environment impacting our business and industry.”

He wrote that those affected were teams in revenue, editorial, operations and core services.

 

“We are experiencing and expect more of the same economic and financial pressures that others in the media and tech industries have encountered,” he wrote. “These difficult circumstances prompted us to take other steps over the past few months to reduce our spending. We suspended most new hiring and significantly reduced discretionary spending. While we are not expecting further layoffs at this time, we will continue to assess our outlook, keep a tight control on expenses and consider implementing other cost savings measures as needed.”

Vox Media is among a number of media companies cutting costs and reducing staff. NBC News and MSNBC went through a round of layoffs last week that impacted about six dozen staffers. CNN and Gannett have made more significant cuts, while other outlets like NPR have announced hiring freezes.

The digital media business also has gone through a wave of consolidation. Vox Media bought Group Nine in 2021, adding titles like Now This, Pop Sugar and Thrillist. Vox Media reportedly went through smaller rounds of layoffs in March and July.

“Our company is fundamentally strong; these setbacks are driven primarily by the temporal macro-economic forces that are impacting nearly all businesses in our sector,” Bankoff wrote.

About 360 employees at Vox were part of the Writers Guild of America East’s bargaining unit when a new contract was ratified last year. In a statement on Twitter, the Vox Media Union said, “We were informed today that the company is laying off around 7 percent of its workforce, and some of our members have been impacted. We’re furious at the way the company has approached these layoffs, and are currently discussing how to best serve those who just lost their jobs.”

Bankoff’s complete letter is below:

Hello everyone,

We’ve made the difficult decision to eliminate roughly 7% of our staff roles across departments, due to the challenging economic environment impacting our business and industry.

For those whose role has been eliminated, Chief People Officer Annie Trombatore will inform 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 extend select benefits paid by Vox Media. Given the number of people impacted today, we are notifying them over email in an effort to inform them as soon as possible. Several different teams across Revenue, Editorial, Operations and Core Services are impacted by the layoffs. I will refrain from sharing department-level detail here, so that those leaving the company hear directly first, but senior leadership will be providing more details, as appropriate, over the course of the day and into early next week.

We are experiencing and expect more of the same economic and financial pressures that others in the media and tech industries have encountered. These difficult circumstances prompted us to take other steps over the past few months to reduce our spending. We suspended most new hiring and significantly reduced discretionary spending. While we are not expecting further layoffs at this time, we will continue to assess our outlook, keep a tight control on expenses and consider implementing other cost savings measures as needed.

Unfortunately, in this economic climate, we’re not able to sustain projects and areas of the business that have not performed as anticipated, are less core to where we see the biggest opportunities in the coming years, or where we don’t have enough rationale to support ongoing investment in what could be a prolonged downturn. In spite of the dedication of the many talented people involved in these initiatives, we need to scale back.

It is important to note that the brands in our portfolio are as relevant as ever to their audiences and in the marketplace. We continue to do outstanding work across our editorial properties and business lines. Our company is fundamentally strong; these setbacks are driven primarily by the temporal macro-economic forces that are impacting nearly all businesses in our sector.

Having said that, I realize that we need to constantly evolve and improve if we want to continue to be the leading modern media company and strongest possible workplace. Especially during a downturn, 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 brands’ core missions and value to their audiences and our business partners. We’ll continue to diversify revenue and media formats, focusing on areas of the business where we expect substantial, stable growth.

I am incredibly grateful to our colleagues who will be leaving Vox Media today. Your talent and contributions have undoubtedly made us a better company. While these decisions were caused by the challenging economic environment and our need to prioritize resources, it doesn’t make this news any easier.

For those who are continuing with Vox Media, please support your colleagues today. We will schedule an All Hands in the next few weeks and will meet more frequently through the first half of the year to provide business updates.

Thank you,

Jim