Breakwell will oversee Vice’s news gathering across Western Europe as Vice continues to build out its digital news offerings across the region. Additionally, this autumn, Vice will launch a TV network, Viceland, in the U.K. and France, which will see some of Vice News’ U.K. programming air on the channel.
Vice News U.K. will be producing in-depth video and editorial content “focused on the issues that matter most to young Europeans — from the migrant crisis and persistent youth unemployment to Brexit and Europe’s privacy laws,” the company said in a statement.
Breakwell joins as Vice News U.K. is set to expand its online video offering. Vice News will grow its existing staff of 18 in the coming weeks, adding new hires across editorial, production, as well as multi-platform journalists who will be deployed across digital and TV.
Breakwell — who starts in July — has worked in news and current affairs for over a decade. His experience spans the breadth of BBC programming from Radio 4, where he worked across “Today,” “The World at One” and “PM,” to helping steer BBC’s election night broadcasts, and to his current role as deputy editor at “Newsnight.”
This new round of hires follows the recent appointments of nearly 20 new hires that recently joined the company, with more new hires slated to join in the coming weeks. Those hires have included Madeleine Haeringer as exec producer of “HBO Nightly Show,” Ryan McCarthy as editor-in-chief of Vice News, Ravi Somaiya as tech correspondent and more.
Vice News’ head of news programming for Europe, Kevin Sutcliffe, moves into the role of senior VP TV and video programming, Europe, Middle East and Africa. In his new position, Sutcliffe will lead on Vice’s video programming for the new Viceland channels across EMEA.
Earlier this week, it emerged that Vice Media was cutting 15 news staffers in the U.S. and had axed three members of the Vice News U.K. editorial team.
Breakwell said: “Vice’s unique and visceral style of storytelling on subjects that matter to an often underserved audience along with their ambitious plans for the future made this an opportunity I couldn’t resist. I’m looking forward to building on its already impressive record of outstanding reporting, compelling video and puckish commentary.”
Josh Tyrangiel, exec VP of Vice News said: “Neil is the rare journalist who excels at speed and depth, television and digital. He’s smart, tough, and brimming with ideas for how we can increase our coverage of the U.K. and Western Europe. In addition to managing our output across TV and online, he’ll continue the successful work begun by Kevin Sutcliffe and the video team in producing riveting, high-impact films including the multi award-winning documentary ‘The Islamic State.'”