Lays Off Senior Editors in Shakeup

“We had to make difficult decisions,” says senior vice president Katie Drummond

vice media
Vice laid off its editor-in-chief Jonathan Smith and managing editor Rachel Schallom in a shakeup Tuesday which suggests cuts and restructuring are continuing as Vice Media looks to become profitable in 2019.

Relevant staff at the company were notified via email that Smith, a 10-year veteran of Vice, and Schallom were out, the New York Times reports.

“In making changes to the organizational structure of the digital editorial group, we had to make difficult decisions that mean Jonathan Smith and Rachel Schallom are no longer with the company,” an email from Vice senior vice president Katie Drummond read, according to the Times.

A rep for Vice did not immediately respond to request for comment from TheWrap.

In February, the company — looking to staunch mounting losses and jittery investors — slashed 250 jobs accounting for roughly 10% of all its employees. The cuts were extensive and touched almost every area of the company, including an Emmy-winning producer on their “Vice News Tonight” series, a company insider told TheWrap at the time.

“Having finalized the 2019 budget, our focus shifts to executing our goals and hitting our marks,” CEO Nancy Dubuc told Vice staff in a memo after the February layoffs. “We will make Vice the best manifestation of itself and cement its place long into the future.” The company previously underwent a smaller round of layoffs in 2017, nixing 60 jobs or roughly 2% of its total workforce at the time.

The company is also still doing its best to emerge from lingering #MeToo fallout after a scathing New York Times investigation into Vice’s workplace culture. The story culminated in the eventual dismissal of both the company’s chief digital officer and president over past accusations of sexual misconduct.

“Listening to our employees over the past year, the truth is inescapable: from the top down, we have failed as a company to create a safe and inclusive workplace where everyone, especially women, can feel respected and thrive,” wrote Vice co-founders Shane Smith and Suroosh Alvi in a public note to Vice employees in December 2017.

“We understand that this had an impact on current and former employees at VICE, and we want to express our deepest apologies to them, as well as our extreme regret for our role in perpetuating sexism in the media industry and society in general.”