viceland - vice media
Courtesy of Vice Media

Vice Media named filmmaker Spike Jonze co-president of Viceland, its cable network slated to launch Feb. 29 in partnership with A+E Networks, alongside chief creative officer Eddy Moretti.

The duo have been collaborating on the channel over the past year. They will be joined by G.M. Guy Slattery, who is joining Viceland from A+E Networks where he was exec VP of marketing for A&E, History and H2 Networks.

Viceland, which is replacing A+E’s H2 documentary and entertainment channel, will be distributed in about 71 million U.S. homes when it launches. For Vice, which also has a pact with HBO for a daily news program in addition to documentary specials, the strategy with Viceland is aimed at migrating its hip, digital-oriented brand further into traditional media — offering not only a new creative outlet but a big chunk of cash from pay-TV affiliate fees and ads.

“It’s a pretty crazy moment for us that someone’s giving us a TV channel,” Jonze said in a statement. “We’re trying to make the whole thing just be driven by creativity and making something that feels personal. And the exciting thing about my job is handing over this channel to artists and filmmakers who inspire us, both here inside Vice and in the outside world.”

Analysts say cable and satellite TV operators have been receptive to the coming launch of Viceland, giving them an opportunity to “age down” the bundle at a time when younger consumers have been shunning subscription-television packages.

The Viceland channel will feature original programming developed and produced by Vice entirely in-house. Shows will includes “Balls Deep” with Thomas Morton, “Gaycation” with Ellen Page and Ian Daniel, “Noisey” with Zach Goldbaum, “Flophouse,” “F*ck, That’s Delicious” with Action Bronson and “Weediquette” with Krishna Andavolu.

Jonze and Moretti are overseeing all of Viceland’s content, including primetime programming, the “Vice Lab” interstitials and acquisitions strategy, and are responsible for the development of the overall brand identity.

Slattery will be responsible for day-to-day operations, including oversight of scheduling, marketing, research and revenue. In addition, he manages production and development units with Viceland head of production Derek Freda.

Moretti touted Viceland as “a completely new kind of TV channel, more of a creative laboratory of human emotions, actually.” Moretti has been at Vice since 2000, after the company moved from Montreal, Canada, to Brooklyn. He also oversees Vice Films, a new feature-film partnership with 20th Century Fox, and serves as the ongoing co-executive producer with Vice CEO Shane Smith and Bill Maher on the company’s original series for HBO.

Jonze, who has served as Vice’s creative director since 2006, will continue to work on film, TV and documentary projects. He wrote and directed films including “Her,” for which he won an Oscar for best original screenplay, “Where the Wild Things Are,” “Adaptation” and “Being John Malkovich.” Jonze also is co-creator and producer of the “Jackass” TV shows and films, a co-founder of Dirt Magazine, Grand Royal Magazine, and the director of numerous music videos and commercials.

At A+E, Slattery led the 2014 rebranding of the A&E channel under the new tagline “Be Original” and the strategy for Bio’s conversion to FYI Network. Prior to joining A&E in 2006, he worked for National Geographic Channels International.

Vice’s investors include Walt Disney Co.; A+E, a joint venture of Disney and Hearst; 21st Century Fox; Technology Crossover Ventures; and Raine Group.

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