Vice shuts down electronic music news site Thump amid global layoffs

The media company is cutting 60 jobs – including 10 in Canada – as part of a shift to video content and scripted programming

Electronic music news outlet Thump has bit the dust.

Vice Media has shut down the site amid a round of global layoffs that will see two per cent of its 3,000-strong workforce laid off in the United States, Canada and Europe.

In all, 60 jobs are being cut including 10 at Vice Canada from a range of departments. The layoffs were first reported by Variety.

A rep for Vice confirmed the layoffs to NOW, but offered no further comment.

Since 2013, Thump has covered international dance music culture – mainstream and underground – and has had a dedicated editor in Vice’s Toronto office. On Friday (July 21), the site’s Brooklyn-based editor Michelle Lhooq also confirmed the closure on Twitter.

Last month, private equity firm TPG invested $450 million in Vice Media to fund an international expansion as the company shifts focus to video content and launches scripted programming division Vice Studios. The investment valued Vice at US $5.7 billion.

Vice will also staff up in other areas to support the push into video. According to Variety, the company plans to be in 80 countries by the first quarter of 2018, with new offices opening in Mumbai and Dubai and expansions planned in other markets such as Brazil.

Meanwhile, a source tells NOW that will draw upon resources from its shuttered lifestyle channels as it emphasizes video production. In addition to Thump, arts and culture vertical Creators and Vice Sports are also closing. All three beats will continue to be covered on the main site, but sports will have its own homepage with a greater focus on video.

Vice continues to operate the music-focused site Noisey, which has a Canadian outpost.

In 2014, Vice entered into a three-year partnership with Rogers to create Canadian content and launch specialty cable channel Viceland. Two months ago, Canadian staff voted to unionize with the Canadian Media Guild. The deal covered 170 workers.

Less niche music coverage and more video seem to be a trend in the media landscape in Canada and elsewhere.

Thump’s closure follows brand refreshes of Canadian music news sites Chart Attack and AUX TV, both of which recently switched focus from indie music to broader pop culture coverage.

Earlier this month, MTV News laid off editorial staff as part of a shift to video following an attempt to make the iconic music brand synonymous with in-depth journalism and reviews. | @nowtoronto

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