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Vice Media files for Chapter 11 bankruptcy

The company said it has agreed to sell its assets to a group of lenders in exchange for $225 million in credit.
Smartphone showing the the Vice logo.
Posted at 10:51 AM, May 15, 2023

The digital media company Vice, which was once valued at nearly $6 billion, officially filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection Monday.

Vice said it has agreed to sell its assets for $225 million to a group of lenders including Fortress Investment Group, Soros Fund Management and Monroe Capital.

"This accelerated court-supervised sale process will strengthen the Company and position VICE for long-term growth," co-CEOs Bruce Dixon and Hozefa Lokhandwala said in a statement.

Vice Media said it intends to complete the sale in the next two to three months and will continue paying its employees throughout the court-supervised process.

Vice Media was founded in Montreal in 1994 as a music, art and trends magazine. It blossomed into a global news media empire with operations in dozens of countries. In its heyday, the company produced a nightly news program called "Vice News Tonight" that aired on HBO and diverted from traditional shows by not relying on anchors or pundits to deliver the news.

Instead, the show's correspondents and producers created immersive, documentary-style reports that took viewers deep into stories that were often overlooked by mainstream media outlets. The company won numerous awards for its journalism and storytelling.

The Walt Disney logo.

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Vice was valued at $5.7 billion in 2017. However, the company has succumbed to the loss of interest in digital media news and failed for years to turn a profit. 

The news is just the latest in a string of digital media closures and layoffs. In April, BuzzFeed announced it will be shutting down its Pulitzer Prize winning news division and cutting about 15% of its entire workforce. ESPN, ABC, Vox Media and NewsCorp have all announced staffing cuts this year as well.