Vice Sports—at least as we know it—is no more. Joining the growing list of sports media sites trimming their rosters, writers for the site announced Friday afternoon on Twitter that its staff had been let go.
Vice Sports first launched in 2014, but Vice Media announced Friday it is laying off 2 percent of its staff and, of course, shifting more toward video as it expands internationally. That meant the elimination of a significant portion of Vice Sports’s editorial staff as part of that percentile shrinkage. Variety reports about 60 staffers will be let go in total, though the company plans to expand in the future as investments continue to pour in.
The cuts come after Vice last month announced $450 million in funding from private-equity firm TPG, which it said would help fund its international expansion and the launch of Vice Studios — marking a new push into original scripted programming. The TPG investment gives Brooklyn-based Vice an estimated valuation of $5.7 billion.
Even with the layoffs this week, Vice expects overall headcount to increase in the near future with its international expansion and growth in video-content production.
Vice Sports editor-in-chief Jorge Arangure tweeted out the news shortly after writers on the site started sharing that they had been let go.
Other writers and staff from Vice Sports echoed Arangure’s tweet in their own tweets about getting let go.
Vice Sports joins sites like Fox Sports, who cut their entire writing staff, and an ever-shrinking ESPN, which laid off many of its most notable faces on screen and off in recent months. Variety says that Vice Sports will still exist and “remain independent” but will “shift to a greater focus on video,” reflecting a move Fox made with its website in recent weeks.
Vice Sports writer David Roth echoed many in commending the editor of Vice Sports, a site that routinely did interesting work and was a must-read for those in media.
Others in the sports media landscape also tweeted out their condolences.
What will follow is a series of tweets by many people pleading for media companies to hire the writers who have just been let go. And those pleas will be genuine. No one wants to see people they respect get fired, but it’s something we deal with in the sports media world far too often.