A&E Networks won’t be parading duck hunters, little women or Vikings out to ad buyers this spring, becoming the latest TV group to forego the typical glitzy upfront presentation. Instead, the cable programmer, whose networks include its namesake channel, History, Lifetime and FYI, will meet with marketers and agencies individually over the next few months to discuss ways the company can create customized media opportunities for clients.
A+E Networks is close to buying a 10% stake in Vice Media Inc., a deal that would value the company at about $2.5 billion, according to people with knowledge of the matter. Started as a counterculture magazine, Vice Media’s primary business today is video. It operates a lineup of online channels that include news, sports, technology, music and food.
Nancy Dubuc’s rise to the top of A+E Networks is now complete. The exec who has steered the group encompassing A&E Network, History and Lifetime to new heights will be promoted to president and CEO of the parent company, jointly owned by Disney and Hearst Corp., as of June 1. Dubuc will take the reins from Abbe Raven, who advances to chairman.
Comcast Corp.’s NBCUniversal, which owns 15.8% of A&E, said today that it will sell its stake to Walt Disney Co. and Hearst Corp., its partners in the A&E joint venture.
The owner of A&E, History and Lifetime took jabs at everyone from Discovery to TBS to YouTube at its upfront presentation to advertisers.