Vice Media buys Refinery29

By Mariam Cheik-Hussein | 3 October 2019
Vice Media

Vice Media has bought female-focused lifestyle publication Refinery29.

The two media brands will sit under the Vice Media Group (VMG) umbrella, but will remain as separate, “distinct” titles.

Nancy Dubuc, CEO at VMG, says the merger is an “expansive” moment for independent media.

“VICE Media Group and Refinery29, two of the strongest independent voices in the industry, will continue to build a scaled global and diversified media company,” Dubuc says.

“We will not allow a rapidly consolidating media ecosystem to constrict young people’s choices or their ability to freely express themselves about the things they care about most.” 

Earlier this year, Vice axed 10% of its work force, or around 250 jobs, following sluggish revenue. It was one of many digital publications, including Vox and Buzzfeed, to make staff cuts amid financial struggles.

Consolidations across the digital landscape have been expected, and rumours of the Vice and Refinery29 merger have been floating for months.

Now, Dubuc says the fattened VMG signals a “new era of lasting change in digital media”. VMG says it will increase investment in premium content production across all platforms by 20%, making it the largest digital media business.

According to the Financial Times, the acquisition values the two publishers at US$4 billion.

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