This morning I got an email from Vox Media, which owns Viola Nation and its parent SB Nation. The two paragraphs informed me that, due to a downturn in advertising revenue across all platforms, our doofy little podcast is canceled as of 28 February 2023, although we’re welcome to keep recording until then.
It’s not just us, though. Vox is cutting back a lot of coverage. Most notably, the company is shutting down all of its MLS sites and all of its NHL sites. Every soccer site on the network had its podcast slashed as well. In a corresponding move, Vox laid off 7% of its workforce today.
While it’s not something I haven’t seen coming for the past couple of years, this has all come as a little bit of a shock to me. Mike McCormack (McMike), Mike Hines (Producer Mike), and I have worked really hard on this project, and to have it taken away stings. We’re trying to figure out what comes next. Maybe we’ll re-launch it on a different platform. We’ll let you know.
On a larger scale, though, I’m considering what comes next for this website. If Vox is chopping its blogs (and some of the MLS and hockey blogs have much larger audiences than we do), I can’t imagine that one devoted to Fiorentina is going to last much longer. I don’t know if I’ll get the email today, or next week, or in a few months, but I’m expecting it at some point in the not-too-distant future.
I’ve been running Viola Nation since 2016. This website and the community around it has become a huge part of my life and gotten me through some extremely difficult personal moments. I am not going to let Jim Bankoff (Vox’s CEO) destroy that because he wants to make more money for shareholders.
I don’t like pulling back the tone of light irony this blog usually aims for, but I also don’t think it’s fair to leave yall in the dark about what’s going on. The community around Viola Nation is special, and it’s a shame that a bunch of Silicon Valley investor bros seem bent on wiping it out.
They won’t. For those of you who’ve been around long enough, Viola Nation has already survived a platform switch. This used to be the Fiorentina Offside before SB Nation acquired it and moved it to their servers. We’ll survive, whether it’s with SB Nation or otherwise. Just in case, though, I’ve set up a Substack page. If anything happens to VN here, we’ll keep chugging away over there.
Until I get the official word that we’re gone, though, we’re going to keep keeping on right here. I’ll see yall tomorrow for Torino.