Vox Media to Lay Off 7% of 1,900-Employee Workforce

The cutbacks are among the latest wave of job losses mounting across media and tech firms

jim bankoff vox
Vox Media CEO Jim Bankoff at Vox Media's 2022 Code Conference in Beverly Hills, California. (Jerod Harris/Getty Images for Vox Media)

Vox Media is laying off 7% of its staff across departments in a move that CEO Jim Bankoff attributed to “the challenging economic environment” in a company-wide email on Friday morning.

“We are experiencing and expect more of the same economic and financial pressures that others in the media and tech industries have encountered,” Bankoff wrote in a memo tweeted by CNN senior media reporter Oliver Darcy.

The layoffs impact more than 130 staffers on teams including revenue, editorial, operations and core services. Spokeswoman Lauren Starke told TheWrap in an email that Vox Media had about 1,900 employees before the layoffs.

Attributing the actions to “more of the same economic and financial pressures” affecting large companies across the media and tech industries, Bankoff said Vox was taking the steps it deemed necessary “over the past few months.” Other measures included curbing spending, a hiring freeze and “significantly reduced discretionary spending.”

Vox Media, which was valued at approximately $1 billion after closing a $200 million funding round in 2015, owns a wide slate of brands, most notably Vox, New York Magazine, The Verge, The Cut, Eater, Vulture and The Strategist.

Other sites under Vox Media include Polygon, SB Nation, Intelligencer, Curbed, Grub Street, Recode, Thrillist, Popsugar, The Dodo, NowThis and Seeker. 

The layoffs are the second in less than three years for Vox, after a round in July 2020 that cut 6% of its workforce during the first summer of the COVID pandemic.

Bankoff wrote Friday that Vox was “not expecting further layoffs” and would “continue to assess our outlook, keep tight control on expenses and consider implementing other cost savings measures as needed.”

“In this economic climate, we’re not able to sustain projects and areas of the business that have not performed as anticipated, are less core to where we see the biggest opportunities in the coming years, or where we don’t have enough rationale to support outgoing investment in what could be a prolonged downturn,” Bankoff said in the memo sent out Friday at 10 a.m. ET.

Parallel to acknowledging Vox was  “scaling back,” Bankoff added, “it is important to note that the brands in our portfolio are as relevant as ever to their audiences and in the marketplace. We continue to outstanding work across our editorial properties and business lines. Our company is fundamentally strong; these setbacks are driven primarily by the temporal macro-economic forces that are impacting nearly all businesses in our sector.”

Bankoff reiterated that to manage through the downturn “operational discipline and strategic focus will be key to Vox Media’s success.”

The Vox Media Union organization with the Writers Guild of America, East, issued a statement on Friday evening addressing the layoffs.

Our committee spent Friday morning hearing from members of the Vox Media Union as they waited for emails to let them know if they would still have a job. We are coming off of three years of working in tough conditions — through a pandemic with limited resources — and the way our colleagues were treated today is unconscionable. These cuts come after multiple rounds of layoffs in 2022, in which we lost many valued colleagues. We are furious at how this will impact our colleagues who have lost their jobs and remain concerned about the long-term morale of those who remain.

We are committed to fighting for those who were affected by these layoffs, and holding management accountable for their actions. We won strong severance in our contract, and we are working as a union to further protect our impacted colleagues.

Cyclical layoffs hurt our brands, hurt our business prospects, hurt our credibility, hurt our values, and hurt our people. Our union knows the greatest asset of Vox Media is its workers. We are grateful for our Vox Media Union, organized with the Writers Guild of America, East.

Loree Seitz contributed to this report.