TVSpy LostRemote AgencySpy PRNewser FishbowlNY FishbowlDC SocialTimes AllFacebook GalleyCat UnBeige MediaJobsDaily

Posts Tagged ‘Shane Smith’

HLN Holds All-Staff Meeting, Zucker Says Network ‘Not For Sale’

HLN held an all staff meeting Wednesday in Atlanta where the future of the network — once on the verge of being shuttered — was discussed. HLN general manager Albie Hecht led the meeting at the W Hotel in Atlanta with CNN  Worldwide president Jeff Zucker also on hand.

HLN economy and business reporter Jennifer Westhoven tweeted one of the headlines of the meeting to us:

The tweet was in response to a discussion of this summer’s negotiations — now dead — that would have turned HLN into the VICE channel. Earlier this week VICE founder Shane Smith called HLN “a distressed media asset.” Zucker had a response to that, according to CNNCommentary:

Zucker acknowledged the Vice and Shane Smith controversy with HLN, by saying, “he” (Shane Smith) was an “asshole.” Our source tells us Zucker then said, “leak that!” or “you can leak that!”

Mediabistro Course

Mediabistro Job Fair

Mediabistro Job FairLand your next big gig! Join us on January 27 at the Altman Building in New York City for an incredible opportunity to meet with hiring managers from the top New York media companies, network with other professionals and industry leaders, and land your next job. Register now!

Vice’s Shane Smith Hints at HLN Acquisition: ‘We Believe We Could Do a Better Job’

minihero_shane-smithIs Vice founder and CEO Shane Smith pondering an acquisition of HLN? He sure hinted as much in a conversation with Jeff Jarvis at the Paley Media Council Tuesday. “There’s a lot of distressed media assets out there, some of them in TV, that we can go after” Smith said. “HLN is a distressed media asset. It’s a great opportunity because they’re doing a very bad job and we believe we could do a better job.”

HLN, which was born as CNN Headline News, has had a tumultuous year. In February, newly installed HLN boss Albie Hecht canceled the long-running “Showbiz Tonight”, and announced a rebranding of the network, which would become “the first TV network for the social media generation.” The network, the thinking went, would attract millennials with a new look, new hosts, and a focus on “what’s trending, going viral, and being shared”.

And yet, by summer, Time Warner appeared ready to hit the HLN reboot button yet again–turning to Vice as a potential partner. Time Warner was reported to be considering a major investment in Vice Media, with Smith’s company taking over the programming of HLN. The proposed deal was estimated to be in excess of $2 billion. But by August, it was dead. “Negotiations with Vice have ended,” Hecht wrote in a note to employees.
Read more

The AM Ticker: Schiller, Vice, Weather

  • Former NPR CEO and NBC News head of digital Vivian Schiller has left Twitter after less than a year with the company. Announcing the news, @Vivian wrote, “Stepping down from Twitter so new global media lead @katies can reorganize as she sees fit. Wish everyone at twitter nothing but best.”

  • Vice Media will remain independent, but CEO Shane Smith is still looking for a cable partner for the company’s video news content. Talks to turn HLN into the Vice channel ended in August. Smith says Vice will use $500 million raised last month to produce more video stories and expand into mobile.

  • The Weather Channel is the cover story of the latest BloombergBusinessweek: “How did the Weather Channel migrate from forecasts to tabloid clickbait and viral marketing?” the magazine asks. Ironically, while calling out the Weather Channel’s urge to pack its website with clickbait, the online version of the Businessweek story is complete with cat-as-weather-pattern GIF.


As Time Warner Ends Vice Talks, A&E Plans $250M Stake in Media Company

viceThe New York TimesJonathan Mahler scoops that Time Warner has ended negotiations with Vice Media. The talks, which have 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.

The conversations collapsed after the two companies were unable to agree on a valuation of Vice. Last year, 21st Century Fox paid $70 million for a 5 percent stake in the company, valuing the company at more than $1 billion.

In June, Vice co-founder and CEO Shane Smith told the New York Times having a TV network was “the next step in our evolution. Our mobile and online stuff is going to grow exponentially, but we want a three-legged stool, and the third leg is TV.”

A week ago, the Wall Street Journal reported Time Warner had also been in talks with Glenn Beck‘s company about re-branding HLN into TheBlaze TV. But those talks also came to nothing. Earlier this year, under the new leadership of Albie Hecht, HLN intended to become “the home for the social media generation.” Primetime programs include those hosted by Nancy GraceJane Velez-Mitchell, and Dr. Drew Pinsky. Late nights and weekends are made up of true crime stories.

> More: The Financial Times reports Vice is finalizing a deal to sell a 10% stake to A&E Networks for $250 million. A&E is jointly owned by Walt Disney and Hearst. The sale could be announced as early as next week, FT reports.

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.

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.”

Read more

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, 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.

Read more