Vice Media, Inc.

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Vice Media
Founded 1994
Headquarters 204 - 99 North 10th Street, Brooklyn, NY, 11211 US
Key people
Shane Smith, CEO
Andrew Creighton, President,
Eddy Moretti, Chief Creative Officer
Products Magazine,

Started in 1994 by Shane Smith, Gavin McInnes and Suroosh Alvi as a punk magazine titled Voice of Montreal, VICE Media, Inc. is a youth media company and digital content creation studio operating in 36 countries. VICE has recently expanded from print, building out a multimedia network including the website VICE.COM as well as a network of international digital channels, a TV and feature film production studio, record label, magazine and a book-publishing division. Its main properties include the website, nine other digital channels including VICE News, and Vice magazine.

Digital channels[edit]

  • website
  • VICE News - news channel
  • Noisey - music channel
  • The Creators Project - arts and creativity channel
  • Motherboard - technology and culture channel
  • i-D - video-based fashion site
  • MUNCHIES - food channel
  • VICE Sports - sports channel
  • THUMP - electronic dance music channel
  • Fightland - MMA culture channel
  • Broadly - Women-focused channel


Founded by Shane Smith, Suroosh Alvi and Gavin McInnes,[1] a magazine named Voice of Montreal was launched in October 1994 with government funding to cover music, trends and drug culture not covered in print.

They changed the name to Vice in 1996, and as the magazine became increasingly popular, moved to New York City in 1999, and permanently set up shop in the edgy Brooklyn neighborhood of Williamsburg in 2001. The magazine continued to get massive attention and readership due to its extremely popular, award winning, celebrated, provocative content, commentary, and contributions from the likes of Terry Richardson, Ryan McGinley and others. The magazine then rapidly expanded internationally, with Andrew Creighton and Andy Capper co-founding the UK division of Vice. The magazine then expanded further into all 5 continents.

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 gained a fan base with shows like “The VICE Guide To Travel,” “Epicly Later’d,” and “Toxic.” The documentaries on the channel featured unusual subjects, and were hosted by young people working at VICE, often by the founders themselves.

In 2006, co-founder Gavin McInnes left VICE due to creative differences with the company, and co-founded an advertising agency, where he has since been terminated for expressing a pattern of promoting the freedom of speech.[2]

In 2007, VICE began aggressively expanding its digital video operation, launching new channels, such as Motherboard (tech), Noisey (music), and The Creators Project, an arts/tech site founded in partnership with Intel. VICE later would launch sites around EDM culture (Thump), global news (VICE News), food (Munchies) and sports (VICE Sports). Additionally, VICE launched Virtue Worldwide, a creative services agency, to expand their capabilities for branded work and creative around their platforms. In 2012, VICE continued to expand its coverage focused around news and current events.

In mid-August 2013, 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."[3]

In 2013 VICE premiered a new 30-minute news program for HBO titled VICE, executive produced by Bill Maher. In 2014, the second season of the show won an Emmy for Outstanding Informational Series or Special.[4]

In 2014, VICE launched its news channel, VICE News, which almost immediately gained global attention for its coverage of protests and conflict in the Ukraine and Venezuela. As of October 2014, the leader of BBC’s Newsdesk claimed the organization was “playing catch-up” to VICE News.[5]

VICE has routinely advocated for their “immersionist” brand of journalism in the pursuit of more authentic and interesting stories. Their founders and editors have regularly garnered controversy from the likes of the New York TimesDavid Carr, who bristled in an exchange with Shane Smith in the 2011 documentary Page One: Inside the New York Times (in a 2014 Time column Carr said that VICE had since grown into a strong news entity).

In June 2014, it was reported that Time Warner was negotiating to acquire a minority stake in Vice Media; among the company's plans were to give Vice control over the programming of HLN—a spin-off network of CNN which had recently struggled in its attempts to re-focus itself as a younger-skewing, social media-oriented news service. However, the deal fell through as the companies were unable to agree on a proper valuation,[6] and VICE chose to partner with A&E Networks — a joint venture of Hearst Corporation and The Walt Disney Company, for a 10% minority stake in Vice Media for $250 million, keeping VICE independent.[7] The following April, it was announced that A+E's H2 will be rebranded as Vice,[8] a lifestyle channel aimed at millennials. The revamp is expected to take place in early 2016.[9]

Vice News[edit]

Main article: Vice News

Vice News is Vice Media's current affairs brand. Launched in December 2013, its presence consists of a YouTube channel and a website. Vice News content primarily consists of documentaries and video news digests.

Vice Books[edit]

Vice Media, through its magazine Vice 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.[10]

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.[11] The videos and documentaries, such as the Vice Guide to Travel (2006), are accessible on the Internet-based Vice channel.[12] 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."[13]

Vice Films had its first theatrical release White Lightnin' in 2009, and a documentary on professional bull riders, entitled The Ride, in 2010.[14]

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.[15]

Reincarnated, a documentary film on Snoop Dogg's transformation into reggae artist and Rastafarian Snoop Lion, was released in 2013.[16]

Lil Bub & Friendz, a feature documentary about meme cats such as Grumpy Cat,[17] premiered at the Tribeca Film Festival on April 18, 2013[18] and won the Tribeca Online Festival Best Feature Film.[19]

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.[20] 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.[21]

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.[22]

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.[23][24]

On April 28, 2015, it was announced that minority stockholder A+E Networks' H2 will be rebranded as Vice,[8] a lifestyle channel aimed at millennials. The revamp is expected to take place in early 2016.[25]

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.[26] The deal was reported to be worth US$15 to $20 million in stock and cash.[27]

Old Blue Last pub[edit]

Vice runs a pub and music venue in Shoreditch, east London named The Old Blue Last,[28] in which a live music program entitled "Live at the Old Blue Last" is filmed.[29] After Vice bought the Old Blue Last in 2004,[30] it underwent a series of improvements, with most taking place in 2010.[31] Bands who have played at the venue include Arctic Monkeys, No Island, Amy Winehouse, Chromeo, Black Lips, and Florence + the Machine.[32]

i-D magazine[edit]

Vice integrated with the British fashion magazine i-D[33] in December 2012,[34] with Vice president Andrew Creighton calling it "one of the only fashion publications in the world we actually respect."[35][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.[36]

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.[37]

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."[38]

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." [39]


  1. ^ Levine, Robert. "A Guerrilla Video Site Meets MTV". The New York Times Company. Retrieved 12 November 2014. 
  2. ^ Brydum, Sunnivie. "Gavin McInnes Pushed Out of Ad Agency While Defending Transphobic Views". Advocate. Here Media Inc. Retrieved 29 October 2014. 
  3. ^ Launder, William. "Vice Media Gets 21st Century Fox Cash". Dow Jones & Company, Inc. Retrieved 29 October 2014. 
  4. ^ "Vice". Academy Of Television Arts & Sciences. Retrieved 29 October 2014. 
  5. ^ Plunkett, John. "BBC playing ‘catch-up’ with Vice News, says Newsbeat editor". Guardian News and Media Limited. Retrieved 29 October 2014. 
  6. ^ "Time Warner Ends Negotiations to Buy Stake in Vice Media". The Huffington Post. Retrieved 18 April 2015. 
  7. ^ Paul Bond. "A&E Networks Buying Minority Stake in Vice Media". The Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved 18 April 2015. 
  8. ^ a b Andreeva, Nellie (April 28, 2015). "A+E Networks’ H2 To Be Rebranded As Vice." Deadline Hollywood.
  9. ^ [1]
  10. ^ The Vice Photo Book (book review) Harp. March/April 2008[dead link]
  11. ^ A Guerrilla Video Site Meets MTV New York Times. 19 November 2007
  12. ^ "Vice Dos & Don'ts: 10 Years of Vice Magazine's Street Fashion Critiques summary". Atomic Books. Archived from the original on 2008-05-23. Retrieved 2008-07-01. 
  13. ^ How to Rock in Iraq
  14. ^ "Interview: VICE’s Jesse Pearson on Where the Wild Things Are, Spike Jonze, and the Future of VICE Films & VBS.TV". /Film. 
  15. ^ "Swansea Love Story". 23 February 2010. 
  16. ^ Ellen E. Jones (21 March 2013). "The rebirth of Snoop Dogg". The Independent (London). Retrieved 26 April 2013. 
  17. ^ Makarechi, Kia (2013-03-18). "'Lil Bub & Friendz' Trailer: From Meme To The Movies (VIDEO)". Retrieved 2013-04-08. 
  18. ^ "Lil Bub & Friendz | 2013 Tribeca Film Festival". Retrieved 2013-04-25. 
  19. ^ The Editors (2013-04-25). "Here Are Your TFF 2013 Award Winners | Tribeca". Retrieved 2013-04-29. 
  20. ^ Dominic Patten,Jen Yamato. "Sundance Film Festival Winners 2014: Full List — Sundance Awards - Deadline". Deadline. 
  21. ^ New York Times: A Spoonful of Exotica Makes the Geography Go Down
  22. ^ Wire. "HBO's 'VICE' Wins Emmy for Outstanding Informational Series or Special - Sound & Picture". Sound & Picture. 
  23. ^ Murad Hemmadi. "Vice Media will launch a 24-hour TV channel in Canada in 2015". Canadian Business - Your Source For Business News. 
  24. ^ "Bad language and leather: Rogers-Vice partnership targets millennials". The Globe and Mail (Toronto). 30 October 2014. 
  25. ^ Brian Steinberg (29 April 2015). "A&E’s H2 Channel to Become Vice". Variety. 
  26. ^ "VICE Acquires Full-Service Digital Agency Carrot Creative". 12/11/2013.  Check date values in: |date= (help)
  27. ^ SOMAIYA, RAVI (December 10, 2013). "Vice Media Buys a Tech Company to Experiment With Content Distribution". The New York Times. 
  28. ^ 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. 
  29. ^ Meg Carter (22 October 2007). "Television for trendsetters". The Guardian (London). Retrieved 26 April 2013. 
  30. ^ Andrews, Robert (April 5, 2011). "Vice Media Takes Investment From WPP, Others". PaidContent. Retrieved 2013-08-12. 
  31. ^ "About". The Old Blue Last. Retrieved 2013-08-12. 
  32. ^ Rickett, Oscar (2013). "How Vice Bought a Brothel". Vice. Retrieved 2013-08-12. 
  33. ^ William Turvill (19 December 2012). "Consumer Vice aims high following acquisition of UK style magazine i-D". PressGazette. Retrieved 26 April 2013. 
  34. ^ Sweney, Mark (18 December 2012). "Vice Media buys style publication i-D". The Guardian. Retrieved 8 December 2013. 
  35. ^ "We Just Acquired 'I-D' Magazine". VICE. December 2012. Retrieved 18 December 2013.  |first1= missing |last1= in Authors list (help)
  36. ^ Steel, Emily (23 January 2015). "Vice Uses Virtual Reality to Immerse Viewers in News". The New York Times. 
  37. ^ Laura Kusisto (3 July 2014). "Vice Media Moving to New Williamsburg Headquarters". WSJ. 
  38. ^ Darren Ressler (23 October 2014). "GENTRIFICATION BLUES: WILLIAMSBURG’S GLASSLANDS IS CLOSING". Big Shot Magazine. Big Shot Magazine. Retrieved 8 November 2014. 
  39. ^ "Death By Audio booker talks Vice; Vice & the landlord respond".