Vice Union announced that Waypoint, Broadly, and Tonic were all being folded into the main Vice website. The sub-domains would no longer exist, and some of the staff were let go from the verticals, but details on that remain sketchy. This comes shortly after securing $250 million in debt from investment firm 23 Capital, along with financing from George Soros’ Soros Fund Management.
Vice Union rolled out the news in the late morning of May 6th, 2019 via a tweet. Indicating that during these “challenging” times they needed to make some structural changes to the business. They noted that Tonic, Broadly, and the video game section, Waypoint, would all be folded in under the main Vice.com website, while Noisey Music, Munchies, and Motherboard would continue to operate as their web portals.
— VICE Union (@viceunion) May 6, 2019
Although our situation is difficult, VICE Union will use this restructuring as an opportunity to build solidarity between our three separate bargaining units (editorial, production, and post-production) during a trying time for VICE workers. We’ll call ourselves One VICE Union.
— VICE Union (@viceunion) May 6, 2019
The notice takes on a far more ominous tone than what some of the other verticals are saying in their own words.
Over on the new games section – which is now located under Vice.com – editor-in-chief Austin Walker states that the staff is still intact and will continue to produce the content that they’ve been producing, writing…
“[…] we will be more equipped than ever to bring the complexity of our analysis, the rigor of our reporting, and the curiosity about how and why we play to the world. We now have an even deeper bench of writers, critics, and reporters; people who love games and are as excited as we are to dig into the culture that surrounds them.
“You’ll also keep hearing our voices on Waypoint Radio and can follow us on our established social media handles. And if you’re a Waypoint Discord or Forum user, everything is continuing as-is in those places. Plus, now that we’re all part of a single VICE.com, you’ll be see our work in other corners of the site, too.”
It’s still unclear if there have been any staff changes.
Austin Walker is still on board, along with former Kotaku and Giant Bomb alum, Patrick Klepek, who assured fans that it’s still the “same crew”.
Some change is upon us, but we’re still the same crew—and the same community—that helped raise a whole bunch of money for a great cause over the past few days. Our mission remains the same, and does not waver. https://t.co/CtGhmWk75V
— Patrick Klepek (@patrickklepek) May 6, 2019
The rest of the social media front is eerily silent about any changing of the guard at Waypoint in particular, and they actually warned their own community against asking about this very topic on their forums.
There’s a post from the moderators that reads…
“[…] ‘Do not speculate on hires or personal lives of staff or personalities of this or any other site (and extend this courtesy to public figures in general); remember, this is a person’s livelihood. Their personal lives are not content.’
“We know that this speculation comes from a place of wanting the best for staff members, but this kind of speculation can easily veer into uncomfortable, intrusive, or unhelpful territory for anyone involved.
“Furthermore, it is likely that articles will start to show up on vice.com/games 28 written by freelancers you’re not familiar with or other VICE editorial staff members that haven’t traditionally been associated with Waypoint. We ask that you approach these folks with an open mind and a welcoming attitude as you would a new member of Waypoint staff, but also engage critically and provide constructive and helpful feedback as appropriate.”
That likely means that people will get cut.
We know for sure that some staff were already let go from Broadly, courtesy of a tweet from Diana Tourjée, who stated that “some” of the staff was moving over to the new section on Vice.com.
At Broadly, I found my voice, and gave a platform to transgender Americans. We set a new precedent for media coverage for trans people, and have shaped the industry toward more responsible reporting.
— Diana Tourjée (@DianaTourjee) May 6, 2019
This comes just a couple of days removed from news reports indicating that Vice raised capital from various firms and investors, in addition to current investors Shane Smith, The Walt Disney Company, A&E Networks, TPG Capital, Fortress Investment Group LLC, and Monroe Capital, as reported by Broadband TV News.
The real news, however, is that the $250 million in debt from investment was headed up by none other than billionaire globalist, George Soros. According to The Hollywood Reporter, the Soros Fund Management was one of the leading investors keeping Vice afloat while the company continues to bleed money and staff.
Back in February of 2019 Vice had laid off 10% of its workforce amid declining ad revenue and ineffective monetization.
Given this shift in format, it doesn’t sound like everyone’s jobs at Vice will be safe in the near future, but we’ll see how it all turns out. Given how Waypoint has established an anti-gaming bent to their coverage, catering to Social Justice Warriors, and even refusing to review real games like Kingdom Come: Deliverance because the developers rebuffed the notion to pretend that their testicular extremities were ovaries, and held firm to their original creative vision.
Nevertheless, with this news about Vice folding in its verticals under one umbrella I can’t help but think deeply about a catchphrase that has to do with waking up and losing money.
(Thanks for the news tip Richard Pell)