The hollowing out of Vice and BuzzFeed marks the end of the digital media revolution


The digital media revolution is over.

Its two leaders, Vice Media and BuzzFeed, are in a frenetic retreat, surrendering much of their online empires as they try to protect what remains of their core assets. Having once threatened to upend the entire industry and usher in a new era of news distribution and monetization, the former digital media darlings are now merely attempting to survive in any form they can.

As they retreat, their large newsrooms once filled with rows of journalists are now shutting off the lights and closing their doors. BuzzFeed, already slimmed down after several waves of layoffs, announced this week that it will slash another 16% of its staff as it undergoes “planned strategic restructuring” to reduce costs. And Vice Media said Thursday that it will lay off hundreds of staffers as it ceases publishing on its own website and pivots into a business that resembles a studio.

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