The future is bleak for woke digital companies like Buzzfeed and Vice as they continue to lay off workers and struggle for organic growth
The youth-oriented, progressive publication Vice, laid off 17 staffers today, including Meredith Balkus, Vice’s managing editor of digital. Variety obtained a copy of the internal memo, “cutbacks coming in North America from the Vice Digital and women-focused Refinery29 groups”.
The news comes a year after the company chopped 155 from its staff over a revenue slowdown because of the pandemic.
For the woke media, it’s another blow that should be looked at as more of a trend than an aberration.
In the spring, Buzzfeed cut 47 from the Huffington Post, a month after acquiring the digital publication from Verizon Media. Those layoffs were preceded by cuts in July of 2020 for Buzzfeed they said were due to the pandemic.
The layoffs came as Buzzfeed struggled to meet the grand destiny that media, political figures and progressive thinkers lined out for it in 2006 and beyond. Once touted as a way to mobilize youth votes, the publication has become a clickbait machine with woke tendencies in its news division.
It’s struggling to keep up with hipper, fleeter, rivals.