Marsha Cooke, SVP of impact at Vice Media, on Wednesday blasted advertisers for demanding their ads stay clear of sensitive topics online, including the words “George Floyd,” “Black Lives Matter” — and even “Black people.”
Vice is to relaunch its nightly news show, Vice News Tonight, in a new hour-long live format on March 4 on Vice TV. Vice has named TV news veteran Nikki Egan as executive producer of the newscast, which will air live, Monday through Thursday. Prior to Vice, Egan was at MSNBC for 17 years.
Digital publishers have taken their knocks in the media ecosystem, but their strong brand identities and carefully honed audience relationships are worth study by broadcasters. One example is Vice’s panel of 40,000 people it taps for feedback on content. “We develop [material] off the back of them,” says Vice’s Tamara Howe.
After layoffs and a move toward video, two editors left Vice.com.
This week’s NewFronts saw TV companies getting more serious about selling their digital inventory and setting the stage for a battle between advertisers’ TV and digital video budgets. The event also saw publishers like Conde Nast and Vice Media talking up their own TV studios.
It’s also rolling out its own audience measurement and new blacklist policy.
Vice, Vox and BuzzFeed, among other companies that once heralded the dawn of a new media age, are now grappling with decidedly old-media problems.
A&E Networks president and CEO Nancy Dubuc is leaving the company effective April 16. She has been in talks with Vice though it is unclear whether she would end up there. A+E Network’s former CEO of A+E Networks Abbe Raven, who retired from the company in 2015 after 33 years, will return as acting chair to oversee the transition until a replacement is named.
Vice Media employees producing video — some 300 of them — have unionized with the Writers Guild of America East and the Motion Picture Editors Guild, the unions said Thursday. The union will cover employees working for Vice.com, Viceland and Vice’s HBO programming.
Vice CEO Shane Smith says the company will wait until its January board meeting to decide on the timing for an IPO. “I’m looking at all the options right now. The good news is we had a great year and we’re going to have a better year next year, so we decided to hold off until we could post our results.”
Viacom CEO Bob Bakish unequivocally squashed the rumor that Viacom was interested in buying an interest in Vice. Speaking Monday at the UBS Global Media and Communications Conference, Bakish said Viacom has “no interest” in the pursuing a deal. “We’re not going to do it,” Bakish said.
Viacom’s new chief executive, Bob Bakish, is joining a conga line of big media companies weighing a plan to acquire an interest in Vice, the millennial-focused news and pop culture destination that has been expanding around the globe.
Vice News Tonight on HBO and Viceland is a mix of the short documentaries that people have come to know from Vice as well as a daily news package in the beginning of the program. Vice’s team is hoping the mix appeals to a younger audience. Michael Gruzuk, Vice director of news, digital and special programming, talks about why Vice is investing in a newscast and how it plans to reach its target audience.
Sunday is a big day for Vice Media, as its new HBO half-hour news show drops, as does a redesign of its news site and the debut of Vice Money, its business news channel. EIC Matt Phillips, a veteran of Quartz and The Wall Street Journal, says the site will feature requisite servings of “youth-splaining.” Phillips will be the primary writer on the video-centric channel, one of a number of new verticals Vice has in the offing.
Vice Media’s Josh Tyrangiel details the philosophy and strategy behind its new Vice News Tonight that will air weeknights on HBO at 7:30 p.m. beginning next Monday, Oct. 10. “Coming up with a touch-enabled news show that recognizes that a viewer may be watching on their phone, on their app, on their iPad or tablet is a way to signal that we know you’re there [and] we know you want a slightly different experience. We are not in any way suggesting that we’re trying to change decades of user behavior. We want to be there for them wherever they are.”
Vice may need to recheck its hipster calibrations: Viceland, its TV network that has barely made a tremor on U.S. television, has landed in the U.K. with just as minimal an impact. The channel debuted with an average audience of 5,500 from 8 p.m. until 2 a.m. according to Barb data.
For the most part, local newscasts were developed a half-century ago. It’s time for a renaissance. The typical newscast no longer resonates with many Americans, especially younger ones. That’s why I’m intrigued by Scripps’ Newsy and am deeply curious about the nightly newscast that Vice is cooking up for HBO. All news directors should be, too.
The AP, Gannett and Vice are suing the FBI to learn how the government hacked an iPhone in its San Bernardino massacre investigation, specifically who it turned to for the solution and how much it spent. Eric Tucker reports on the lawsuit looking to get to the bottom of the “mysterious transaction.”
HBO and Vice Media are delaying the launch of their evening newscast until Oct. 10 to make sure its creative elements work.
Vice Media plans to join TV’s nightly news game, and is gearing up to launch a new competitor to Lester Holt, David Muir and Scott Pelley with a program on HBO set to debut on Sept. 26. Vice News Tonight will be a half-hour nightly newscast, and will air weeknights on HBO. It will also be available on the Time Warner premium-cable service’s HBO Go and HBO Now streaming services as well as on demand.
ESPN and Vice are collaborating on content in a deal that will see films from ESPN’s 30 for 30 series airing on the new Viceland network and Vice Sports producing new series for ESPN, the companies said today. One curious note in the announcement came via ESPN President John Skipper on his upstart new partner: “I applaud [Vice CEO] Shane [Smith] for understanding that television is the smartest path to worldwide leadership.”
No one will ever accuse Vice of a lack of bravura, but as it readies the launch of its Viceland TV channel next month, it has been wooing advertisers there with the prospect of reinventing the form. Details are still sketchy, but de-cluttering is a key part of the strategy with a low eight-minutes of commercial time per hour and a focus on branded content via its in-house content studio. And incidentally, guarantees are low and the ads won’t be cheap.
Ready for a lot more Vice? Well if you’re in the U.S. or Europe, you’re going to get plenty more Shane Smith and cohorts as the company launches television networks in both places (12 European markets, specifically) in 2016. Smith is on a pretty serious victory lap, as he revealed that Vice has also been doubling its profit and revenues and is targeting $1 billion this year, set to double that over the next few years.
Media giant NBCUniversal has an Achilles’s heel, according to its top executive. And it hopes it has come up with a cure for the ailment. CEO Steve Burke said the company took a look at four different outlets: BuzzFeed, Vox, Vice and Huffington Post. NBCU recently announced it would invest $200 million in each of the first two companies, in deals that will allow for content sharing, joint advertising pacts, and said Burke, education. “We like their businesses, but the real deal is we are going to get smarter” about reaching consumers with content through digital outlets.
Geared toward women around the globe and of all ages, Vice’s new channel — called Broadly — features content on subjects spanning politics, culture, sex and fashion. Broadly is joining Vice’s network of now 11 channels, including Vice News, Munchies (about food) and Motherboard (about tech and science), all of which use YouTube as a video platform
Vice previewed 10 TV shows at its NewFront presentation in New York on Friday. Executives at Vice didn’t say where the shows will air, but it is likely they will populate the Vice-branded TV network that is reportedly in the works.
HBO and Vice Media will expand their news content programming in a new four-year deal that includes the addition of a daily Vice newscast on the pay cable outlet. Vice also will produce 32 long-form specials for HBO over the next four years, the network said.