One of the strangest media success stories in recent years has been Vice. What began as a sex, drugs, and punk rock magazine in Montreal grew first into a hip, trendsetting international magazine, then, strangely enough, an outlet for serious journalism through first online video and then an HBO television show featuring reporters going where no others dared. Vice is being further rewarded for its success with its own cable TV channel, Viceland, which will replace H2, the History Channel’s less-watched sibling.
More from the New York Times:
Vice will fill the cable channel, which will be called Viceland, with lifestyle and entertainment programming, including shows about music, sports, food and travel. The channel will start in late February, according to a person briefed on the deal.
Spike Jonze, a longtime Vice collaborator, is expected to be its creative director.
The cable channel represents another step in Vice’s transformation into a mainstream media company. Founded in Montreal in 1994 as a free punk magazine, Vice has spun its rebel image into gold, attracting investments worth hundreds of millions of dollars from media giants that see value in its core audience of young men.
Most recently, Disney invested $200 million in Vice, according to another person with knowledge of the matter, who spoke on the condition of anonymity because the terms of the deal were private.
Vice has coveted a cable channel as another outlet for its original shows and as a way to lure more advertising dollars.
Much of Vice’s success has been due to the desirability of its core audience of young men with money to spend. This new channel should bring them a lot more money in advertising dollars, but it is also a worry that the Vice empire could be spreading itself too thin. Only time will tell.