Business

Vice to Relaunch Main Site, Bring Noisey Under Flagship Umbrella: Exclusive

The restructuring will begin in May.

Vice Media will bring several of its sites including music channel Noisey under the Vice.com umbrella, multiple sources tell Billboard. The shifts will begin on May 2.

Female-focused site Broadly, wellness destination Tonic and gaming guide Waypoint will also be included in the new main page setup, a rebranding effort the company will announce at its NewFronts 2019 event in New York on May 1.

While Noisey will retain its name and brand identity, it will no longer be an independent publication with a separate editorial structure. Instead, its music news content -- known for sharp takes and first-hand accounts with a witty sense of humor -- will be collapsed into Vice as a vertical, with the rebrand taking place in mid-May.

The plan fits in with a broader reorganization at Vice Media spearheaded by CEO Nancy Dubuc, the former A+E chief who became the first outsider to lead the edgy media giant when she took the reins from founder Shane Smith (now executive chairman) in March 2018. In a February memo to staff, Dubuc revealed plans to lay off 10 percent of the company's workforce (or around 250 people) in an effort to cut spending and centralize its many outlets into five growth areas: studios, news, digital, television and in-house ad agency Virtue. As part of the new strategy, Vice will consolidate more than a dozen digital brands to provide a more unified offering to users.

The latest update comes on the heels of Viceland's recent decision to cut the cord on Vice Live, the weeknight live show that debuted on Feb. 25, due to low ratings.

Noisey's archive will remain intact and no additional layoffs are expected, although several Noisey staffers have made their exit in recent months. Among them, former Noisey editor-in-chief Eric Sundermann was appointed head of content at The Fader last December, while editor Dan Ozzi left Noisey to pursue personal projects earlier this month. Metal editor Kim Kelly and West Coast editor Andrea Domanick were both laid off in the round in February.

Now a little over a year into her leadership, Dubuc is tasked with bringing both order and profitability to the Brooklyn-based Vice Media, which must live up to expectations including more than $1 billion in investments from the likes of Fox, TPG and Disney (Disney took a $157 million write-down on its investment in November).

Added as a Vice channel in 2011, Noisey has distinguished itself with a witty, opinionated voice and penchant for first-person essays, reporting on everything from the #MeToo movement in the music industry to Coachella's branded party culture. Vice launched Broadly as its first women-centric site in 2015, adding both Tonic and Waypoint the following year.

A representative for Vice Media declined to comment.

This story has been updated.