"Failure is part of the natural cycle of business. Companies are born, companies die, capitalism moves forward." - Thomas Sowell
In 2017, Vice Media was valued at $5.7 bn. The company worth just a fraction of that after Vice Media has filed for bankruptcy protection, the latest digital media company to falter after a meteoric rise. Monday’s filing comes during a wave of media layoffs and closures with job cuts at the Gannett newspaper-publishing chain, National Public Radio and The Washington Post. In April, BuzzFeed Inc announced that its Pulitzer Prize-winning digital media outlet BuzzFeed News was being shut down (Al Jazeera 2023).
The hip, irreverent media company co-founded by Shane Smith attracted investors, including 21st Century Fox and a $450 million investment from TPG, leading to a $5.7 billion valuation that made Vice the most valuable new-media company in the U.S. Vice owns the creative agency and digital publisher Refinery29, never lived up to its valuation.
It is common sense to realize that economic life is a process of incessant internal change. Life, and by extension, business is cyclical.
Vice said its media brands would continue to produce content. “This accelerated court-supervised sale process will strengthen the company and position Vice for long-term growth,” Bruce Dixon and Hozefa Lokhandwala, Vice’s co-chief executives, said in a written statement (Bruell et. al 2023).
Bruell, Alexandra, Alexander Gladstone and Dave Sebastian, "Vice Media to Sell Itself as It Files for Bankruptcy," Wall Street Journal, May 15, 2023, https://www.wsj.com/articles/vice-media-to-sell-itself-as-it-files-for-bankruptcy-af3ca051?cx_testId=3&cx_testVariant=cx_160&cx_artPos=3&mod =WTRN #cxrecs_s.