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Posts Tagged ‘Shane Smith’

These Companies See the Virtues of Vice

vice21st Century Fox already owns a piece of Vice, last week news trickled out that Time Warner was interested in a deal that could see Vice replace HLN, and now there’s word Disney is interested in the news and entertainment juggernaut.

The NYTimes talks with Vice CEO Shane Smith about his desire to take the brand, which consists of dozens of hours of programming for YouTube channels, several websites, and a weekly half-hour HBO show, to TV.

“It’s the next step in our evolution,” Smith says. “Our mobile and online stuff is going to grow exponentially, but we want a three-legged stool, and the third leg is TV.”

Vice has the strongest relationship with Fox, which last year bought a 5 percent stake in the company for $70 million. James Murdoch is on Vice’s board. But a Fox deal faces hurdles, too. The company does not have a logical single channel to give Vice, which is what Mr. Smith most wants. “You can’t be MTV without a TV network,” he said.

An agreement might instead call for Vice to program blocks of time on a few Fox networks. And, of course, Fox’s defining news brand, Fox News, is not popular among Vice’s core audience.

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Vice Media Co-Founder on CNN: ‘Disaster’ That’s ‘Spiraling Into Sh*t’

ViceAhead of “Vice’s” season two premiere on HBO tonight, Vice Media co-founder Shane Smith had some harsh words for traditional TV news—including HBO’s sister network CNN.

Smith told the New York Daily News CNN is a mess.

“CNN is a disaster. It’s spiraling into s—,” Smith said in an interview with the Daily News last week. “They are trying to young it down, but everything they do is a f—ing disaster. But what’s bad for CNN is good for me.”

Last year, Smith told The New Yorker that news is still a moneymaker—and that young people care about news—pointing out CNN was built on major events like the Gulf War.

VICE in North Korea: ‘I Know Who You Are, I Don’t Like You, and I Don’t Like Your Company’

Rodman, Duffy, Globetrotters

When VICE correspondent Ryan Duffy landed in Pyongyang, North Korea in March, he and his crew were not greeted particularly warmly.

“We were on the bus from the airport to the hotel, and one of the minders sat down next to [VICE producer] Jason and I and said ‘I know who you are, I don’t like you, and I don’t like your company,’” Duffy recalled, at a screening of the season finale of “VICE” on HBO.

The VICE crew were engaged in a game of gonzo journalism with the North Korean regime, conceived when VICE co-founder Shane Smith and a colleague were on a train traveling through Siberia, looking to shoot footage on North Korean labor camps. Smith was banned from returning to North Korea after the documentaries he shot were viewed by the government.

“The reality of it was that I saw what everybody else saw,” Smith said. “We wanted to see something that wasn’t shot, that wasn’t out there, that wasn’t the same tour over and over again.”

They decided that the key to getting into the country, and seeing a side of it that hadn’t been seen, was through basketball diplomacy, knowing that Supreme Leader Kim Jong-un was a huge Chicago Bulls fans.

“We reached out to a few Chicago Bulls, and [Dennis] Rodman said yes,” Smith recalled. “Michael Jordan’s camp was not interested, I believe.”

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ABC’s ‘This Week’ Snags Surprise Interview With Dennis Rodman

Credit: Lorenzo Bevilaqua/ABC Television

ABC’s “This Week” scored a surprise interview with former NBA star Dennis Rodman and Shane Smith, the co-founder of VICE. Rodman just returned from North Korea, where he watched the Harlem Globetrotters play basketball, and partied with North Korean dictator Kim Jong Un.

Rodman and the VICE crew were the first Americans to meet with the North Korean leader since he assumed power. He is known to be a big basketball fan.

“He wants Obama to do one thing: Call him,” Rodman told George Stephanopoulos. “He said, ‘If you can, Dennis – I don’t want [to] do war. I don’t want to do war.’ He said that to me.”

Rodman called Kim Jong Un ‘my friend,” drawing pushback from Stephanopoulos, and ended the interview by saying “don’t hate me.”

Rodman’s trip was documented by VICE for its upcoming HBO newsmagzine. Video of his “This Week” appearance is here.

Bill Maher Producing New VICE Newsmagazine for HBO, Fareed Zakaria On Board As Consultant

HBO is launching a new TV newsmagazine series with VICE. VICE founder Shane Smith will host the program, which will be executive produced by Smith, comedian Bill Maher and VICE chief creative officer Eddy Moretti. CNN host Fareed Zakaria will serve as a consultant on the series, per his overall agreement with Time Warner signed in 2010. CNN is a sister network to HBO.

Potential subjects for the new series include “Taliban child suicide bombers; North Korean slave labor camps; New York’s underground voodoo heroin clinics; Somalian pirates; and Satanic dentists in the Pacific Northwest,” the network says. Some of the segments will likely be repurposed video content from Vice.com, like this segment on North Korean labor camps:

There is no premiere date or timeslot for the series, which will be called “VICE,” though HBO says it will be televised weekly. That said, TVNewser hears that it will likely debut as a lead-in or lead-out to “Real Time with Bill Maher,” which airs Friday nights on HBO.

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