Is “woke” media collapsing? Vox Media staff demand higher wages from the already-struggling company


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Vox Media is a notorious digital company focusing on digital content ranging from news to entertainment. The company was evaluated at over a $1B USD just four years ago when NBC Universal invested $200 million in the fast-growing digital content corporation. However, recent events show that Vox Media was grossly overvalued and hemorrhages money at an unprecedented pace.

But that hasn't stopped Vox's staff from pressing to get increased wages from the already-struggling company.

The Vox Media Union walked out on June 6. Workers demanded higher wages and protested against recent layoffs that affected 5% of the company’s employees in 2018. Vox had to fire 50 staffers and significantly restructure the corporation in order to combat financial losses. During the reorganization, the Vox brand integrated Recode and had to consolidate other resources including Racked.

Problems with Vox did not fly under the radar as numerous political commentators chimed in to discuss the pickle in which Vox found itself in 2018. Several reports from trusted news sources indicated that the company was in trouble. The Wall Street Journal surprised everyone by publishing a news story about the financial downfalls of Vox and affiliated brands.

In 2018, Vox targeted a massive $200 million revenue mark but missed it by a long shot. NBC and other shareholders expressed their concerns with the results demonstrated by the management of the company consisting of multiple “valuable” brands. As staffers walk out and shareholders demand stability as well as growth, the actual value of Vox Media is at the very least uncertain.

Today, Vox Media Union celebrated and stated that they had a successful negotiation:

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Why Is It Political?

Vox Media consists of several brands such as Polygon, The Verge, Vox, and Curbed. News platforms owned by Vox are overtly liberal and push far-left agendas by employing prominent activists like Carlos Maza who was recently involved in a huge scandal related to demonetization of numerous influential YouTube channels.

Recently another YouTube channel The Quartering was also affected by similar tactics but from another journalist working for CNET. Lauren Chen, Ben Shapiro, and many other conservative creators also suffered from shadow banning on YouTube, Twitter, and Facebook.

How does all of the above relate to financial issues haunting Vox and recent walkouts? Well, it turns out that the ideological shift strong enough to support overtly liberal views hasn't yet been financially successful according to the breakdown of demographics of liberals and conservatives.

There is a reason why we have a new expression “get woke — go broke” and have heated discussions about ideologies behind different news platforms. There is no consensus.

Vox Media should cater to a wider audience in order to bring in sufficient revenues. However, the company pushes away centrists and conservatives by blindly focusing on pushing an overtly liberal agenda. As reported by Breitbart, Vox missed their revenue growth target by 15% in 2018 and failed to meet expectations.

Walkouts of staffers demanding higher wages coupled with apparent financial struggles affecting the brand may lead to additional layoffs as the company does not seem to be capable of affording expensive personnel especially if they plan to appease their shareholders.

The Crisis of Woke Media

Ironically, Vox recently published a news story reporting that Disney considered its massive $400 million investment in Vice Media a waste of money. The pattern discovered by Vox Media’s own Peter Kafka is quite telling. While Vice Media is the most prominent example of gross overestimation of how much media company costs, there are other companies that lost money:

• Mic was sold for about $5 million despite attracting over $60 million in funding just two years ago.
• Mashable lost over $200 million worth of value in just a year. It was sold for $50 million in 2017.
• BuzzFeed is under scrutiny after massive layoffs and rumors about a potential merger with Group Nine.

Putting money in digital companies that are primarily left-leaning and produce content targeting a relatively small but radical portion of the population seems to be a rather unproductive enterprise. It is a hard truth that investors have to deal with. Whether the politics of BuzzFeed, Vox Media, Mashable, and Mic the main cause of their financial struggles is only a speculation, but the trend is apparent and their unions pushing for higher wages from their failing companies is like turkeys voting for Thanksgiving.

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Igor Tyan

Igor Tyan is an online culture writer for Reclaim The Net. His main topics revolve around the growing devisions in today's internet culture and censorship that takes place on online platforms. He keeps an eye on the zeitgeist at all times. [email protected]