Disney takes $353m Vice Media hit as publisher struggles for profitability

The mammoth writedown follows a $157m devaluation recorded in November

Disney has written off a further $353m from its disastrous Vice Media investment as the publisher struggles to maintain profitability amid a highly competitive online advertising market.

The mammoth writedown follows a $157m devaluation recorded in November as the entertainment giant concedes that it is unlikely to make a return on its $400m investment in the publisher to secure a 21% stake.

Back in 2017, Vice was valued at $5.7bn on the back of a sprawling media empire dedicated to alternative culture which spawned its own TV shows and Viceland cable channel.

A combination of poor ratings and a dearth of digital advertising have served to undermine this business model, with a resultant downward trajectory in its valuation hitting investors hard.

A Vice spokesman said: “Vice will always be there with a megaphone for the people on this planet under the age of 30 who crave independent world-class content.”

Earlier this week Vice launched its ‘masterbrand’ strategy to consolidate standalone brands in pursuit of profitability.

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