In difficulty, Vice Media closes its office in France

After fifteen years of existence in the country, the media office located in Paris will close at the end of March. Thirty employees are thus laid off.

Claudia Cohen

Posted update

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After fifteen years of existence in the country, the media office located in Paris will close at the end of March. Vice screenshot.

It’s the end of the adventure for Vice Media In France. After fifteen years of existence, the media office located in Paris will close at the end of March. “Sad to write this, but it’s the end of VICE France. The office will close by the end of March. 15 years of existence of a fabulous media that gave me my chance 10 years ago. Proud to have been its editor for 5 years, accompanied by great people“, revealed Monday on Twitter its editor, Paul Douard.

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The thirty employees of the French office of Vice, including journalists on permanent contracts, find themselves dismissed. His disappearance also leaves on the floor the many freelancers who regularly collaborated with the online site.

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Born in 2007, the tricolor edition of the Canadian magazine Vice had gained popularity thanks to its embodied reports and its articles with a free tone, sometimes irreverent, centered on music, art, photography or social subjects. With a wide variety of content, ranging from the testimony of an X star in the golden age of the industry to reports on the Ukrainian battlefield, passing through investigations into organ trafficking in China. Already in France, Vice’s television channel, Vice TV, had ceased broadcasting in November 2021 for lack of satisfactory audiences.

Fragile economic model

It was the American parent company Vice Media Group which decided to put an end to the hexagonal branch, as it had done before in other countries. Two years ago, for example, the Spanish subsidiary of Vice closed due to economic difficulties.

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Globally, Vice Media, which relies on a free business model for its online site, is struggling to monetize its audiences. Faced in particular with the slowdown in the advertising market since the pandemic. He has been trying for several weeks to find a buyer for a price around 1.5 billion dollars. A valuation well below the 5.7 billion advanced in 2017, during the last major fundraising of the media group…

The group, which also includes a production studio and an advertising agency, Virtue, wants to rethink its business model. “Young people not willing to pay for information, Vice must find new sources of income“says an expert. In 2022, Vice Media recorded a turnover of 600 million dollars, almost 100 million less than expected. And the group failed to make a profit.

Now, it hopes to reach financial equilibrium in 2023 and aims to reduce its costs by 15%. It will go through a new cut in its workforce (currently 4,000 employees) around the world and the closure of part of its thirty local offices, including that of Paris.

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In difficulty, the general manager of Vice Media, Nancy Dubuc, had created the surprise a few days ago by announcing her departure, after five years at the head of the group.

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