Vice, once heralded as the insurgent leader of a new generation of media companies, is headed for bankruptcy, according to The New York Times.
Two people familiar with Vice’s operations told the newspaper that the media company is looking for a buyer. Otherwise, the company will have to declare bankruptcy, unnamed sources said.
“Vice Media Group has engaged in a comprehensive evaluation of strategic alternatives and planning,” Vice said in a statement Monday to Times. “The company, its board of directors and its stakeholders continue to focus on finding the best path for the company.”
the independent has contacted Vice for comment.
The media company, which started as an alternative Canadian publication, eventually became a digital powerhouse known for its direct, youth-focused stories on politics, music and culture, told through a constellation of websites, movies, podcasts, and more. . , TV shows, the main magazine and finally an independent TV network.
Vice News reporters featured memorable documentaries like a report on the 2017 Charlottesville “Unite the Right” rally, as well as gonzo stories like chronicling NBA legend Dennis Rodman’s visit to North Korea.
A 2017 investment round led by TPG once valued the company at $5.7 billion. More recently, the company was thought to be worth less than $1 billion, according to reports earlier this year about the company’s possible search for a buyer.
Despite receiving praise for its unique style of storytelling, as well as investments from big names like Disney and Fox, the company has continued to struggle financially.
Last week, the company announced it was canceling its flagship show “Vice News Tonight” and laying off dozens of employees amid a larger corporate shakeup, the latest in a painful season of media layoffs that saw cuts at Insider, NPR, Paper magazine, and the demise of Buzzfeed News.
That follows reports that Vice secured $30 million in emergency financing to pay off a growing number of debts.
In February, Vice Media CEO Nancy Dubuc left the company.
The company missed the 2022 revenue goal by more than $100 million, The Wall Street Journal reported in December.
The year before, the company botched plans to go public through a special-purpose takeover company.
In addition to its financial woes, Vice has been plagued by scandal, with critics accusing the anti-establishment stock company of covering up an abuse-ridden corporate culture.
An investigation by The New York Times uncovered four settlements involving allegations of sexual harassment or defamation, as well as more than two dozen women who told the company they had experienced or witnessed sexual harassment.
Gavin McInnes, one of the original founders of Vice in the mid-1990s, eventually founded the right-wing street gang the Proud Boys.