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Vice Media Stakes Future on A&E Networks Deal (NYT)
After spending the summer flirting with various suitors, Vice Media said on Friday that it was close to choosing a partner: A&E Networks. TVNewser The investment was announced after Time Warner ended its negotiations with Vice Media. The talks, which had been going on for months, included a plan to spin off Time Warner’s HLN network and refashion it into a Vice channel. The Brooklyn-based media company includes a magazine, book publishing, a massive online presence and gritty, global documentaries which are carried on Time Warner’s HBO. WSJ A&E Networks is nearing an agreement to buy 10 percent of Vice Media for $250 million, in a deal that would value the youth-focused online media company at $2.5 billion, according to people familiar with the matter. Financial Times Last year, Vice sold a 5 percent stake to Rupert Murdoch’s 21st Century Fox for $70 million, which then valued it at $1.4 billion. THR Vice CEO Shane Smith, who co-founded the company 20 years ago, has long wanted to expand into traditional TV. A&E, led by Nancy Dubuc, is a co-venture of Hearst Corp. and Disney/ABC Television Group.