Vice Media Cuts Jobs After Canada TV Deal Ends

Viceland Brand Package for embed only - H Publicity 2017
Courtesy of Clio Entertainment

In all, 23 employees, or around 10 percent of the workforce, were laid off as the youth media brand's Viceland channel is set to go off the air in Canada.

Vice Media on Thursday launched a round of layoffs in Canada after local partner Rogers Communications earlier this week bowed out of a joint venture production deal, leaving its Viceland channel about to go off the air in Canada.

A Vice Canada spokesman confirmed to The Hollywood Reporter that the youth media brand had let go around 10 percent of an overall workforce of 200 people. The Canadian Media Guild, which represents unionized Vice Canada employees, said 23 contract and permanent positions had been lost.

Vice Canada workers in mid-2017 voted to unionize. As a result of that contract, laid-off employees with recall rights could be rehired if Vice Canada in the future resumes production on programming in hiatus, or greenlights new shows.

Most of the laid-off employees are understood to be involved in producing programming for Vice Canada that has been placed on hiatus after Rogers, the Canadian cable and mobile giant, terminated a $100 million joint venture with Vice Media.

That partnership included feeding content to the Viceland Canada 24-hour cable channel produced out of a Toronto production studio. The Shane Smith-led media organization has expanded in recent years with an eye to international growth.

In Canada, it struck a joint venture three years ago with Rogers to help launch the Toronto production studio and the Viceland TV channel. Rogers ending the partnership leaves the Viceland cable channel, launched in 2016, to go off the air here on March 31, unless a new carriage partner is found. 

Jan. 25, 5 p.m. Updated to indicate the number of contract and permanent jobs lost in a round of layoffs at Vice Canada.