To Be There When the Lights Go Out

Dear Vice: shut the fuck up': A graffito on exterior wall of gray brick at Vice Magazine HQ, London, 2015
Matt Brown [CC BY 2.0] via Wikimedia Commons

by Anna Merlan

I made it 15 years in journalism without being laid off, until famous author Hamilton Nolan jinxed me. “You might be the most successful person at not getting laid off that I know,” he texted, a month or two ago, guaranteeing that I would soon be out of a job. 

The first sign was an ominous message from a colleague, one Thursday; word was leaking out from on high, and it was time to save all our stuff. By the end of the day, we’d received a garbled email from the CEO, saying that would no longer be publishing, “instead putting more emphasis on our social channels as we accelerate our discussions with partners to take our content to where it will be viewed most broadly.” Someone familiar with the state of things told the Hollywood Reporter that that meant Vice would be selling “content” to places like the New York Times and CNN. None of this seemed to have any particular coherent meaning, but then again, it didn’t have to. 

It’s a paywall, but a small one

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