Vice (magazine)

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
  (Redirected from Vice Magazine)
Jump to: navigation, search
January 2009, the Universal Sadness Issue
Editor-in-chief Ellis Jones
Categories Lifestyle
Frequency Monthly

900,000 (worldwide)

80,000 (United Kingdom)[1]
Founder Suroosh Alvi, Shane Smith, Gavin McInnes
First issue 1994 (1994)
Country Canada
Based in New York City, USA
Language English
ISSN 1077-6788
OCLC number 30856250

Vice is a print magazine and website focused on arts, culture, and news topics. Founded in 1994 in Montreal, Quebec, Canada, the magazine later expanded into Vice Media, which consists of divisions including the magazine and website, a film production company, a record label, and a publishing imprint. As of February 2015, the magazine's Chief Creative Officer is Eddy Moretti, Andrew Creighton is President, the editor-in-chief is Ellis Jones[2] and Alex Miller is the global head of content. As of October 2014, 29 Vice bureaus exist on every continent except Africa and Antarctica.

The monthly publication is frequently focused on a single theme.


Founded by Gavin McInnes, Suroosh Alvi and Shane Smith,[3][4] the magazine was launched in 1994 as the Voice of Montreal with government funding, and the intention of the founders was to provide work and a community service.[5] When the editors later sought to dissolve their commitments with the original publisher Alix Laurent, they bought him out and changed the name to Vice in 1996.[6]

Richard Szalwinski, a Canadian software millionaire, acquired the magazine and relocated the operation to New York City, U.S. in the late 1990s. Following the relocation, the magazine quickly developed a reputation for provocative and politically incorrect content. Under Szalwinski's ownership, a small number of retail stores were also opened in New York City and customers could purchase fashion items that were advertised in the magazine. However, due to the end of the dot-com bubble, the three founders eventually regained ownership of the Vice brand, followed by the closure of the stores.[3]

The British edition of Vice was launched in 2002 and Andy Capper was its first editor. Capper explained in an interview shortly after the UK debut that the publication's remit was to cover "the things we’re meant to be ashamed of," and articles were published on topics such as bukkake and bodily functions.[7]

By the end of 2007, 13 foreign editions of Vice magazine were published, the Vice independent record label was functional, and the online video channel had garnered 184,000 unique viewers from the U.S. during the month of August. The media company was still based in New York City, but the magazine began featuring articles on topics that were considered more serious, such as armed conflict in Iraq, than previous content. Alvi explained to the New York Times in November 2007: "The world is much bigger than the Lower East Side and the East Village."[3]

McInnes left the publication in 2008, citing "creative differences" as the primary issue. In an email communication dated January 23, McInnes explained: "I no longer have anything to do with Vice or VBS or DOs & DON'Ts or any of that. It's a long story but we've all agreed to leave it at "creative differences," so please don't ask me about it."[8]

At the commencement of 2012, an article in Forbes magazine referred to the Vice company as "Vice Media," but the precise time when this title development occurred is not public knowledge.[9] Vice acquired the fashion magazine i-D in December 2012 and, by February 2013, Vice produced 24 global editions of the magazine, with a global circulation of 1,147,000 (100,000 in the UK). By this stage, Alex Miller had replaced Capper as the editor-in-chief of the UK edition. Furthermore, Vice consisted of 800 worldwide employees, including 100 in London, and around 3,500 freelancers also produced content for the company.[7]

In mid-August 2013, Rupert Murdoch's corporation 21st Century Fox invested US$70 million in Vice Media, resulting in a 5 percent stake. Following the announcement, Smith explained, "We have set ourselves up to build a global platform but we have maintained control."[10][11]

In June 2014, it was reported that Time Warner was negotiating to acquire a stake in Vice Media. The company also planned to give Vice control over its television channel HLN, a spin-off network of CNN that had struggled to transform into a younger-skewing, social media-oriented news service. However, the deal was not finalized, as the companies were unable to agree on a proper valuation.[12][13] It was then revealed on August 29, 2014, that A&E Networks—a joint venture of Hearst Corporation and The Walt Disney Company—would acquire a 10 percent minority stake in Vice Media for US$250 million.[14]

On July 2, 2014, Vice Media announced that it would be relocating into a warehouse space in Williamsburg formerly occupied by music venues 285 Kent, Death by Audio, and Glasslands. Vice spent US$20 million to renovate the 60,000-square-foot (5,600 m2) building as part of an eight-year lease,[15] facilitating the establishment of new production facilities with full broadcast capabilities, and received an offer of US$6.5 million in tax credits from New York state's Empire State Development.[16]

On October 30, 2014, Vice Media announced a CDN$100 million joint venture with Rogers Communications that will facilitate the construction of production facilities in Toronto for the creation of locally produced content, as well as the introduction of a Vice-branded television network and digital properties in Canada in 2015. Rogers CEO Guy Laurence described the proposed studio as "a powerhouse for Canadian digital content focused on 18- to 34-year-olds" that will be "exciting" and provocative." The content of the partnership will be aimed primarily toward digital platforms.[17][18]

In late 2014, VICE Media announced that Alyssa Mastromonaco, who formerly worked in the Obama administration, would come on board as the company's Chief Operating Officer in January 2015,[19] and that James Schwab, who had previously advised VICE and Dreamworks on media deals, would be joining as Co-President.[20]

Current staff[edit]

  • Shane Smith - Co-Founder
  • Suroosh Alvi - Co-Founder
  • Eddy Moretti – Chief Creative Officer
  • Andrew Creighton – President
  • James Schwab - Co-President
  • Alyssa Mastromonaco - Chief Operating Officer
  • Ellis Jones – Editor-in-Chief
  • Alex Miller - Global Head of Content

The full current staff of VICE Magazine and can be found on their masthead.



Vice Magazine includes the work of journalists, columnists, fiction writers, graphic artists and cartoonists, and photographers. Both Vice‍ '​s online and magazine content has shifted from dealing mostly with independent arts and pop cultural matters to covering more serious news topics. Due to the large array of contributors and the fact that often writers will only submit a small number of articles with the publication, Vice‍ '​s content varies dramatically and its political and cultural stance is often unclear or contradictory. Articles on the site feature a range of subjects, often things not covered as by mainstream media. The magazine's editors have championed the Immersionist school of journalism, regarded as something of a DIY antithesis to the methods practiced by mainstream news outlets, and has published an entire issue of articles written in accordance with this ethos. Entire issues of the magazine have also been dedicated to the concerns of Iraqi people,[21] Native Americans,[22] Russian people,[23] people with mental disorders,[24] and people with mental disabilities.[25] Vice also publishes an annual guide for students in the United Kingdom.[26]

In 2007, a Vice announcement was published on the Internet: "After umpteen years of putting out what amounted to a reference book every month, we started to get bored with it. Besides, too many other magazines have ripped it and started doing their own lame take on themes. So we're going to do some issues, starting now, that have whatever we feel like putting in them."[27]


In a March 2008 interview with The Guardian, Smith was asked about the magazine's political allegiances and he stated, "We're not trying to say anything politically in a paradigmatic left/right way ... We don't do that because we don't believe in either side. Are my politics Democrat or Republican? I think both are horrific. And it doesn't matter anyway. Money runs America; money runs everywhere."[5]

He has also stated: "I grew up being a socialist and I have problems with it because I grew up in Canada [and] I've spent a lot of time in Scandinavia, where I believe countries legislate out creativity. They cut off the tall trees. Everyone's a C-minus. I came to America from Canada because Canada is stultifyingly boring and incredibly hypocritical. Thanks, Canada."[6]

Web address
Owner Vice Media
Launched 2011
Alexa rank
Increase 204 (July 2015)[28]
Current status Active

Vice originally founded its website as in 1996, as was already owned. In 2007, it started as a domain, which prioritized videos over print, and had a number of shows for free such as The Vice Guide to Travel. In 2011, both and were combined into[29]

The website has expanded and diversified to include a network of online video channels, including,,,, and

According to third-party web analytics provider SimilarWeb, the site has over 69 million visits per month, as of 2015,[30] and is ranked #4 among News and Media magazines and e-zines sites.[31]

Vice News[edit]

Vice News is a global news channel where Vice broadcasts documentaries about various current topics. It was created by Vice in December 2013.

Vice Books[edit]

The magazine has published the collections The DOs and DON'Ts Book and The Vice Guide to Sex and Drugs and Rock and Roll. In 2008, the photograph compilation The Vice Photo Book was released and featured published works from previous editions of the magazine.[32]

Vice Music[edit]

Vice Records
Parent company VICE Media
Founded 2002 (2002)
Status Active
Genre Various
Country of origin United States
Location Brooklyn, New York
Official website

Vice Records or Vice Music, founded in 2002, has released albums and singles by the following artists through various major label distributors:

VICE Video[edit]

Main article:

In 2006, on the advice from the company’s creative director Spike Jonze, VICE began expanding into digital video, launching, a new video-focused web-only video channel. VBS immediately gained a fan base with shows like “The VICE Guide To Travel,” “Epicly Later’d,” and “Toxic.” The immersive documentaries on the channel featured unusual subjects, and were hosted by young people working at VICE, often by the founders themselves. began as a deal between Viacom-owned MTV Networks and Logo Group. In March 2007, the network was formed; MTV funded its formation and Vice magazine would supply the content.[33] The videos and documentaries, such as the Vice Guide to Travel (2006), are accessible on the Internet-based Vice channel.[34] In 2010, was folded into a new, which incorporated their video library alongside features from the magazine and digital editorial content.

VICE Films[edit]

Vice Films released the feature length rockumentary Heavy Metal in Baghdad in 2008, which follows the thrash metal band Acrassicauda in Iraq. The New York Times praised the production and reporting, calling it a "splendid feat of D.I.Y. reportage...Both a stirring testament to the plight of cultural expression in Baghdad and a striking report on the refugee scene in Syria, this rock-doc like no other electrifies its genre and redefines headbanging as an act of hard-core courage."[35]

Vice Films had its first theatrical release White Lightnin' in 2009, and a documentary on professional bull riders, entitled The Ride, in 2010.[36]

Swansea was featured in a television documentary "Swansea Love Story" as part of the Rule Britannia series on The episode covers a heroin epidemic in the UK.[37]

Reincarnated, a documentary film on Snoop Dogg's transformation into reggae artist and Rastafarian Snoop Lion, was released in 2013.[38]

Lil Bub & Friendz, a feature documentary about meme cats such as Grumpy Cat,[39] premiered at the Tribeca Film Festival on April 18, 2013[40] and won the Tribeca Online Festival Best Feature Film.[41]

In 2014 Vice produced all this mayhem follows the rise and fall of renown skateboarders Ben Pappas and Tas Pappas.

“Fishing Without Nets,” VICE Films’ first narrative feature, won Best Director for Cutter Hodeine at the 2014 Sundance Film Festival.[42] The film was released online in partnership with 20th Century Fox in October 2014.

"The VICE Guide To Everything" (MTV)[edit]

The MTV series The Vice Guide to Everything premiered in December 2010 and features Vice films, as well as new material.[43]

VICE HBO series[edit]

Main article: Vice (TV series)

In 2013, HBO aired the first 10-episode season of a 30 minute news show called "VICE," with Bill Maher as executive producer. The initial season saw international coverage for the final episode that had VICE play an exhibition basketball game in North Korea with Dennis Rodman and the Harlem Globetrotters. The show was renewed for a second season, which aired in 2014 and won an Emmy award for Outstanding Informational Series or Special.[44]

The show was picked up for two more 14-episode seasons by HBO in May 2014, which will air in 2015 and 2016.

VICE TV network[edit]

On October 30, 2014, Rogers Media announced a joint venture with Vice, in which they would launch a television network targeting millennials. The network will be housed in a new Toronto-based production studio to be launched in 2015.[45][46]

On April 28, 2015, it was announced that minority stockholder A+E Networks' H2 will be rebranded as Vice,[47] a lifestyle channel aimed at millennials. The revamp is expected to take place in early 2016.[48]

Acquisitions and Investments[edit]

Pictured: the Old Blue Last in 2012.
Old Blue Last at Wikimedia Commons

Carrot Creative[edit]

Vice acquired the Brooklyn-based digital agency, Carrot Creative in December 2013.[49] The deal was reported to be worth US$15 to $20 million in stock and cash.[50]

Old Blue Last pub[edit]

Vice runs a pub and music venue in Shoreditch, east London named The Old Blue Last,[7] in which a live music program entitled "Live at the Old Blue Last" is filmed.[51] After Vice bought the Old Blue Last in 2004,[52] it underwent a series of improvements, with most taking place in 2010.[53] Bands who have played at the venue include Arctic Monkeys, No Island, Amy Winehouse, Chromeo, Black Lips, and Florence + the Machine.[54]

i-D magazine[edit]

Vice integrated with the British fashion magazine i-D[55] in December 2012,[56] with Vice president Andrew Creighton calling it "one of the only fashion publications in the world we actually respect."[57][edit]

In 2015, VICE announced it invested an "undisclosed sum" in, a virtual reality company founded by acclaimed director Chris Milk. The announcement came alongside a debut VR experience at the Sundance Festival, a "virtual-reality journalism broadcast" made in partnership with Spike Jonze and VICE News.[58]

Office expansion in Brooklyn[edit]

In July 2014, VICE announced it would be moving its headquarters to a new building in Williamsburg, where their NY office had been since 1999. According to an article in the Wall Street Journal, the move would allow them to double their current office size and hire about 500 new employees.[59]

Following this announcement, the two music venues occupying the building, Glasslands and Death By Audio, soon announced the news they would be closing. Following the announcement from Glasslands management in October 2014 that the arts venue would close at the end of 2014, thereby making it the third Williamsburg music space to close through Vice Media's expansion—alongside 285 Kent and Death By Audio—Big Shot Magazine claimed that the Brooklyn music community had received a "proverbial kick in the groin."[60]

After a series of articles covering the venues' eviction, BrooklynVegan reported on the deals that led to VICE moving into the new office, including terms buying out tenants and covering past overdue rent, that contradicted some press around the renovation of the building and VICE's dealings with the current tenants. Regardless, as the article puts it, "The concept of 'Vice vs. DIY' in Williamsburg is officially a thing." [61]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Tom Horan (15 July 2006). "From chic to cheek". The Telegraph. Retrieved 26 April 2013. 
  2. ^ Sterne, Peter (2015-02-11). "Vice E.I.C. Rocco Castoro out at Vice". Capital New York. Retrieved 2015-02-12. 
  3. ^ a b c Robert Levine (19 November 2007). "A Guerrilla Video Site Meets MTV". The New York Times. Retrieved 7 November 2014. 
  4. ^ "About". Vice Magazine. Vice Media Inc. 24 October 2014. Retrieved 24 October 2014. 
  5. ^ a b Wilkinson, Carl (30 March 2008). "The Vice Squad". London: The Guardian. Retrieved 2009-01-30. 
  6. ^ a b Jeff Bercovici (3 January 2012). "Vice's Shane Smith on What's Wrong With Canada, Facebook and Occupy Wall Street". Forbes. LLC. Retrieved 26 April 2013. 
  7. ^ a b c Andrew Pugh (28 February 2013). "‘Maybe we’ve grown up’: Ten years on, how Vice magazine got serious". Press Gazette. Progressive Media International. Retrieved 7 November 2014. 
  8. ^ "Co-Founder Gavin McInnes Finally Leaves 'Vice'". Gawker. Gawker. 23 January 2008. Retrieved 7 November 2014. 
  9. ^ Jeff Bercovici (3 January 2012). "Tom Freston's $1 Billion Revenge: Ex-Viacom Chief Helps Vice Become the Next MTV". Forbes. Forbes, LLC. Retrieved 8 November 2014. 
  10. ^ Ben Quinn (17 August 2013). "Rupert Murdoch firm dips into hipsters' bible with $70m stake in Vice". The Guardian. Retrieved 17 August 2013. 
  11. ^ Anthony Ha (16 August 2013). "Fox Invests in Vice, A Media Company That Makes Money Being Terrible And Brilliant". TechCrunch. AOL, Inc. Retrieved 17 August 2013. 
  12. ^ "Can HLN Draw Millennials Fast Enough to Stave Off Vice?". Advertising Age. Retrieved 29 August 2014. 
  13. ^ "Time Warner Ends Negotiations to Buy Stake in Vice Media". The New York Times. Retrieved 29 August 2014. 
  14. ^ "A&E Networks Buying Minority Stake in Vice Media". 29 August 2014. Retrieved 29 August 2014. 
  15. ^ Jordan Sargent (22 October 2014). "No One Wants To Say It, But Vice Is Displacing Brooklyn Institutions". Gawker. Gawker. Retrieved 8 November 2014. 
  16. ^ Mark Fahey (2 July 2014). "Vice Media grows in Brooklyn". Crain's. Crains Communications Inc. Retrieved 8 November 2014. 
  17. ^ "Rogers, Vice Media strike $100M deal to create Canadian content". CBC News. Retrieved 30 October 2014. 
  18. ^ "Rogers, Vice Media to partner on $100-million venture". 30 October 2014. Retrieved 30 October 2014. 
  19. ^ Emily Steel (16 November 2014). "Vice Hires Alyssa Mastromonaco, Former Official in Obama White House, as a Top Executive". New York Times. Retrieved 12 December 2014. 
  20. ^ Tom Huddleston, Jr. (15 December 2014). "Vice Media sees 'deal spree', possible IPO on horizon". Fortune. Retrieved 29 April 2015. 
  21. ^ "The Iraq Issue". Vice. Retrieved 2009-01-28. 
  22. ^ "The Native Issue". Vice. Retrieved 2009-01-28. 
  23. ^ "The Russia Issue". Vice. Retrieved 2009-01-28. 
  24. ^ "The Mentally Ill Issue". Vice. Retrieved 2009-01-28. 
  25. ^ "The Special Issue". Vice. Retrieved 2009-01-28. 
  26. ^ "Student Guide". Vice. Retrieved 2009-03-10. 
  27. ^ "Dear Vice Readers!". Vice. 11 April 2007. Retrieved 2008-07-01. 
  28. ^ " Site Info". Alexa Internet. Retrieved July 3, 2015. 
  29. ^ Castoro, Rocco (2012). "Finally, All Our Crap Is in One Place". Vice. Retrieved 2013-08-00. 
  30. ^ " Analytics" SimilarWeb. Retrieved 2015-7-3.
  31. ^ "Top 50 sites in the world for News And Media > Magazines And E Zines" SimilarWeb. Retrieved 2015-7-3.
  32. ^ The Vice Photo Book (book review) Harp. March/April 2008[dead link]
  33. ^ A Guerrilla Video Site Meets MTV New York Times. 19 November 2007
  34. ^ The Snarky Vice Squad Is Ready to Be Taken Seriously. Seriously. Wired. 18 October 2007
  35. ^ How to Rock in Iraq
  36. ^ "Interview: VICE’s Jesse Pearson on Where the Wild Things Are, Spike Jonze, and the Future of VICE Films & VBS.TV". /Film. 
  37. ^ "Swansea Love Story". 
  38. ^ Ellen E. Jones (21 March 2013). "The rebirth of Snoop Dogg". The Independent. Retrieved 26 April 2013. 
  39. ^ "'Lil Bub & Friendz' Trailer: From Meme To The Movies (VIDEO)". 2013-03-18. Retrieved 2013-04-08. 
  40. ^ "Lil Bub & Friendz | 2013 Tribeca Film Festival". Retrieved 2013-04-25. 
  41. ^ The Editors (2013-04-25). "Here Are Your TFF 2013 Award Winners | Tribeca". Retrieved 2013-04-29. 
  42. ^ Dominic Patten,Jen Yamato. "Sundance Film Festival Winners 2014: Full List — Sundance Awards - Deadline". Deadline. 
  43. ^ New York Times: A Spoonful of Exotica Makes the Geography Go Down
  44. ^ Wire. "HBO's 'VICE' Wins Emmy for Outstanding Informational Series or Special - Sound & Picture". Sound & Picture. 
  45. ^ Murad Hemmadi. "Vice Media will launch a 24-hour TV channel in Canada in 2015". Canadian Business - Your Source For Business News. 
  46. ^ "Bad language and leather: Rogers-Vice partnership targets millennials". The Globe and Mail. 
  47. ^ Andreeva, Nellie (April 28, 2015). "A+E Networks’ H2 To Be Rebranded As Vice." Deadline Hollywood.
  48. ^ Brian Steinberg. "A&E’s H2 Channel to Become Vice". Variety. 
  49. ^ "VICE Acquires Full-Service Digital Agency Carrot Creative". 12/11/2013.  Check date values in: |date= (help)
  50. ^ SOMAIYA, RAVI (December 10, 2013). "Vice Media Buys a Tech Company to Experiment With Content Distribution". The New York Times. 
  51. ^ Meg Carter (22 October 2007). "Television for trendsetters". The Guardian. Retrieved 26 April 2013. 
  52. ^ Andrews, Robert (April 5, 2011). "Vice Media Takes Investment From WPP, Others". PaidContent. Retrieved 2013-08-12. 
  53. ^ "About". The Old Blue Last. Retrieved 2013-08-12. 
  54. ^ Rickett, Oscar (2013). "How Vice Bought a Brothel". Vice. Retrieved 2013-08-12. 
  55. ^ William Turvill (19 December 2012). "Consumer Vice aims high following acquisition of UK style magazine i-D". PressGazette. Retrieved 26 April 2013. 
  56. ^ Sweney, Mark (18 December 2012). "Vice Media buys style publication i-D". The Guardian. Retrieved 8 December 2013. 
  57. ^ "We Just Acquired 'I-D' Magazine". VICE. December 2012. Retrieved 18 December 2013. 
  58. ^
  59. ^ Laura Kusisto (3 July 2014). "Vice Media Moving to New Williamsburg Headquarters". WSJ. 
  60. ^ Darren Ressler (23 October 2014). "GENTRIFICATION BLUES: WILLIAMSBURG’S GLASSLANDS IS CLOSING". Big Shot Magazine. Big Shot Magazine. Retrieved 8 November 2014. 
  61. ^ "Death By Audio booker talks Vice; Vice & the landlord respond". 

External links[edit]