You will be redirected back to your article in seconds

HBO, Vice Will Launch Daily Newscast as Part of 4-Year Content Pact

Time Warner’s HBO and upstart content outlet Vice Media will launch a five-day-a-week newscast on the premium cable outlet as part of a new four-year content pact, the two companies said Thursday, the latest signal of growing audience interest in new kinds of news and current-events programming.

Under terms of the deal, HBO will run a daily half-hour “Vice” newscast for 48 weeks per year. The program is likely to launch sometime in the fourth quarter of 2015, according to a person familiar with the agreement.  The cable network also gave a four-year extension to Vice’s weekly documentary series and increase the number of episodes to 35 from 14 and committed to airing 32 specials produced by Vice through 2018. The network’s soon-to-launch broadband-delivered HBO Now service will feature a Vice-branded channel that will offer instant access to Vice content to subscribers.

“From the front lines in the Ukraine, to the icebergs of Antarctica and the streets of Ferguson, Vice news has helped illuminate and expand our understanding of an increasingly complex world,” HBO CEO Richard Plepler and HBO programming president Michael Lombardo said in a prepared statement. Vice is led by CEO Shane Smith.

Whether the newscast will serve as a direct competitor to established broadcast-network offerings like NBC’s “NBC Nightly News,” ABC’s “World News Tonight” or CBS’ “CBS Evening News” remains to be seen. An HBO spokesman said details about the time of day the Vice newscast might run were not available. The new show is widely expected to contain shortform dispatches from Vice correspondents around the world, the person familiar with the agreement said. While producers do not anticipate the program serving as a summation of daily headlines, the show could certainly tackle angles related to breaking stories, this person said.

The pact offers another sign of Vice’s ascendance in the media business. Founded in Canada as a punk magazine in the mid-1990s, the company has grown by burnishing “you-are-there” reportage from far-flung regions of the world. The stuff is less varnished than mainstream fare and has proven winning with younger crowds. Vice’s online content is said to attract people largely between 15 and 34. Vice is also a partner with A&E Networks, which in August acquired a 10% stake in the company, reportedly worth $250 million, fueling speculation that Vice might begin programming one of A&E’s cable networks.

“This deal, simply put, allows Vice the freedom to go after any story, anywhere we find it – and to do so with complete independence,” said Smith in a statement. “This deal is a tremendous gift and a tremendous opportunity, and we at Vice realize this.”

HBO has steadily invested more resources in nonfiction programming, to great acclaim. The network’s airing of “The Jinx,” a look at the murky world of real-estate scion Robert Durst, is believed to have contributed to authorities’ decision to arrest him on suspicion of murder. “Last Week Tonight,” a satirical news program led by John Oliver, has garnered attention owing to the amount of research the show’s staff puts into segments on complex topics like native advertising, net neutrality and tobacco-company litigation that can sometimes last longer than some reports on CBS’ “60 Minutes.” Bill Maher’s live “Real Time” talk show has long offered a gimlet-eyed view of politics and current events.

“There is a real desire for news, for current events, to resonate in ways that don’t feel pre-packaged, don’t feel canned,” Lombardo told Variety in an interview in October. The executive also said at the time that he did not envision HBO competing with news outlets like NBC News or CNN, but instead favored nonfiction programming as a means of feeding a “huge appetite to be engaged with an opinion, as opposed to being fed facts.” HBO is clearly heaping more on its plate.




More TV

  • Longtime '60 Minutes' Producer Alan Weisman

    Longtime '60 Minutes' Producer Alan Weisman Dies at 68

    Alan Weisman, a longtime producer for “60 Minutes” known for his work with Morley Safer, died Thursday at his home in New Jersey of natural causes. He was 68. Weisman produced some of Safer’s most memorable “60 Minutes” segments, including the 1984 profile of Jackie Gleason and the 1989 jailhouse interview that brought national attention [...]

  • Khloe KardashianKhloe Kardashian, Emma Grede and

    Khloe Kardashian To 'Bachelor' Creator: 'Stop Or You Will Be Hearing From My Lawyers'

    UPDATE: Khloe Kardashian slams “Bachelor” creator Mike Fleiss’ claims she could be the next “Bachelorette.” And her sister Kim Kardashian West has her back. I’m not fucking clickbait right now. Stop or you will be hearing from my lawyers. How insensitive!! https://t.co/vTKi83nLUJ — Khloé (@khloekardashian) February 24, 2019 The time has come to choose a [...]

  • How the 'Rich Eisen Show' Mixes

    How the 'Rich Eisen Show' Mixes Sports and Showbiz in an Entertaining Mix

    Walking through the El Segundo studio where veteran sportscaster Rich Eisen tapes his daily “Rich Eisen Show,” the sheer density of sports memorabilia is overwhelming — everything from game balls to jerseys, gear, autographs and uncountable photos are crammed onto every inch of wall and desk space. But step into Eisen’s dressing room, and the [...]

  • Whiskey Tango Cavalier

    TV Review: 'Whiskey Cavalier'

    The crux of “Whiskey Cavalier” can be found right in its protagonist’s name. “Will Chase” is a purposefully ridiculous wink of a name that tries to be both debonair and very silly all at once, just like the FBI agent (played by Scott Foley) to which it belongs. This isn’t a regular spy drama, “Whiskey [...]

  • Brody Stevens Dead

    Comedian Brody Stevens Dies at 48

    Prominent Los Angeles comedian Brody Stevens died Friday in Los Angeles, Variety has confirmed. He was 48. “Brody was an inspiring voice who was a friend to many in the comedy community,” Stevens’ reps said in a statement. “He pushed creative boundaries and his passion for his work and his love of baseball were contagious. [...]

  • Editorial use onlyMandatory Credit: Photo by

    Malik Yoba to Reprise Role in 'New York Undercover' Reboot at ABC

    Malik Yoba, who starred as Detective J.C. Williams in the 90s show “New York Undercover,” is set to reprise the role in the ABC reboot, sources tell Variety. Picking up 20 years after the end of the original series, “New York Undercover” will follow detectives Nat Gilmore and Melissa Ortiz as they investigate the city’s [...]

  • Chris Burrous dead KTLA anchor

    KTLA Anchor Chris Burrous' Cause of Death Released

    An investigative report on KTLA anchor Chris Burrous has determined that his cause of death was attributed to methamphetamine toxicity, according to the Los Angeles County Coroner’s Office. Burrous, 43, was found unconscious at a motel in Glendale, Calif on December 27, and later died at the hospital. The death has been ruled as accidental. [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content