Another Major Media Outlet Goes Bust

Vice files for bankruptcy
By Polly Davis Doig,  Newser Staff
Posted May 2, 2023 12:46 PM CDT
Updated May 15, 2023 6:25 AM CDT
Another Media Outlet Headed for the Brink: Report
In this 2014 file photo, the Vice logo is seen at a joint venture announcement between Vice Media and Roger Communications in Toronto.   (Nathan Denette/The Canadian Press via AP, File)
UPDATE May 15, 2023 6:25 AM CDT

Vice filed for bankruptcy as expected Monday morning, the latest large media company to go under. In this case, it appears that a group of Vice lenders including Soros Fund Management and Fortress Investment Group will attempt the buy the company with a credit bid of $225 million, reports CNBC. All of which cements "Vice’s status among the most notable bad bets in the media industry," per the New York Times. The former digital powerhouse is known for sites including Vice, Motherboard, and Refinery29.

May 2, 2023 12:46 PM CDT

Vice, the media company that went from a Montreal punk magazine more than 20 years ago to a juggernaut with a $5.7 billion valuation, is the latest member of the Fourth Estate to be on the brink of going belly up. The New York Times, citing three "people with knowledge" but not authorization to blab publicly, reports the company is currently shopping for a buyer but preparing for bankruptcy in the event that doesn't happen. It's quite a trajectory: Vice dazzled among new media companies, raising huge amounts of funding from the likes of Disney and Fox, and expanding into global bureaus, an HBO show, and even a movie studio.

"Vice Media Group has been engaged in a comprehensive evaluation of strategic alternatives and planning," Vice said in a statement. "The company, its board and stakeholders continue to be focused on finding the best path." The Times notes that a bankruptcy filing could give control of Vice to its biggest debt-holder, Fortress Investment Group, which holds "senior" debt over Fox and Disney—also meaning that Fortress is at the front of the line to get paid if Vice should sell. Quartz notes that it's been a rough stretch for media, with BuzzFeed shutting down its news operation last month, and the likes of FiveThirtyEight, Gannett, National Geographic, NPR, the Washington Post, and Vox all rattled by layoffs in the past several months. (More Vice magazine stories.)

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