Vox Media let employees know Thursday that it was laying off 4% of its staff. The layoffs are primarily in its product, design, technology and analytics team, as well as their animal-focused site, The Dodo.
“This reflects continued turmoil in advertising and the need to build even more loyal audience relationships given the increasing volatility of search and social platforms, among other factors,” a Vox spokesperson said in a statement.
The Vox Media Union said in its own statement, “This news is especially devastating in the midst of the holiday season, and we are furious that management has short-sightedly opted to eliminate these essential roles.” It also noted that the cuts included multiple union members.
The union noted that this was “the second major round of layoffs at Vox Media this year,” adding that reporters and video production team members who covered climate change, policy and tech are among those who’ve been let go.
Senior Vox reporter Sara Morrison was among those laid off, noting via X (formerly Twitter) that she was looking for work — including outside of journalism, “bc this industry is brutal.”
“Vox Media has a culture of adapting in what has always been a dynamic industry to best serve our audiences in a financially sustainable way,” the company’s own statement said, “and we will continue to do that.”
In January, Vox cut more than 130 jobs from its revenue, editorial, operations and core services teams. The company had approximately 1,900 employees before those layoffs. They’ve had previous rounds of layoffs including multiple pandemic-related cuts.
Vox senior correspondent Rebecca Jennings was among those who publicly objected to the layoffs, writing on X, “f–k layoffs, especially when they affect people doing some of the most crucial, audience-facing work, the actually valuable stuff that media companies profit from.”
The union noted that it is raising money for staff who’ve lost their jobs.
Mia Sato, reporter for Vox Media outlet the Verge, wrote on X, “it’s shameful that vox chose to lay off our colleagues in essential roles. we are in a moment when their work is needed more than ever, yet the erosion of newsrooms continues across the country. this is shortsighted, cruel, and a huge loss for us.”
The union also noted there will be severance for those who’ve been let go due to their labor contract.
“We stand in solidarity with these workers, and with the thousands of workers across the media industry who have seen their positions eliminated in 2023,” the union stated.
“We — and the audiences who trust our journalism — deserve a stable and more equitable media landscape,” the union continued. “Layoffs like these only deepen the instability and inequity that is rife within our industry, and make it harder for those of us who remain at Vox Media to do our jobs.”
The union’s statement concluded, “In this time of ever-shrinking budgets and dwindling headcounts across the company, we demand that Vox Media management find a financial path forward that does not result in the elimination of any more union jobs.”
The media industry has continued to be affected by layoffs for many years, with multiple digital-focused outlets among the hardest hit.