Vice laid off around 15 staffers today in a “reorganization” of their video news division, The Politico first reported this afternoon. As part of the shuffling, ex-Bloomberg bigwig Josh Tyrangiel has been promoted to a position in which he will oversee the entirety of Vice’s video news operation, from its HBO programming on down. Via Politico:
Tyrangiel will oversee Vice News, the weekly HBO Vice News show, and the daily Vice News show, which is expected to premiere later this year on HBO. Tyrangiel will aim to connect the disparate news divisions in order to create a more cohesive product, the source said. He was originally hired by Vice last year to lead development of the daily HBO program.
A source at Vice told Gawker that the layoffs weren’t “entirely a surprise” because Tyrangiel, who was hired by Vice in October, carries a “reputation of coming in and cleaning house.”
Though the exact number of laid-off employees is still unclear, the source said that around 10 employees in the United States were let go, along with what appears to be the entire UK news office. According to the source, most of the American employees who were laid off were younger producers in their first or second jobs out of college. Paired with recent new hires from NBC and the New York Times, the shedding of less experienced employees seems to signal an ongoing professionalization of what was once a brash, young workplace—though the source did say that Vice’s HBO arm also lost one producer today who came over from 60 Minutes last year.
Jason Gordon—Director of Communications at the Writer’s Guild of America, East—told Gawker in a statement that four members of Vice’s union (which is limited to its digital employees) were among those laid off today. Gordon also echoed reports by Politico and Recode that Vice is not cutting jobs but reallocating them:
I can confirm that four of our members were among those laid off by VICE and they will receive the severance we negotiated. We understand the company will expand other parts of its digital news operation in coming months so this does not appear to be part of a broader retrenchment.
According to our source, Vice offered at minimum two weeks severance to those employees forced to walk the plank this afternoon.
Disclosure: Vice and Gawker are both unionized under the Writer’s Guild of America, East.