Vice Media has tapped two longtime TV execs for new roles: CBS News veteran Marsha Cooke is joining the company as SVP of content strategy and Josh Cogswell, formerly with Tribune Media and Viacom, has been named president of digital.
Cooke will join Vice in January 2018, reporting to founder and CEO Shane Smith. Cogswell started at the company last month, and among his duties is spearheading Vice’s planned launch of new direct-to-consumer content services in 2018.
In the newly created role, Cooke is tasked with coordinating Vice’s development and production of content for multiple platforms — including TV, digital, mobile and social media — to maximize reach and visibility. According to Vice, Cooke’s focus on cross-platform content strategy will supplement existing initiatives. She’ll work with an overarching content team that will pull together and organize the top work across Vice divisions to try to break out high-impact stories.
Prior to Vice, Cooke spent nearly 25 years at CBS. Most recently, she served as CBS News’ VP of news services, in charge of the Newspath newsgathering group serving 200 CBS affiliates nationwide and broadcasters around the world. Before that, Cooke was executive editor of content at CBSN, the 24-hour digital streaming news network, where she led the unit’s push into original documentaries and helped guide breaking news coverage, and also was a senior broadcast producer for “CBS Evening News with Scott Pelley.”
With Cooke’s departure, CBS News has promoted Tim Gaughan, previously VP of newsgathering, to VP of news services overseeing Newspath. In addition, Kimberly Godwin, senior broadcast producer of the “CBS Evening News,” has been named VP of news, responsible for the editorial direction, launch and coordination of all newsgathering resources worldwide.
Cogswell joins Vice from Tribune Media, where he was chief product officer before exiting this fall after the broadcast station group nixed plans to launch a national news service and restructured its digital group. Before joining Tribune in 2015, Cogswell spent 15 years at Viacom, most recently as SVP of product.
At Vice, Cogswell reports to Vice Media co-president Andrew Creighton, overseeing digital operations and responsible for audience growth and engagement across digital channels. He will lead strategy for content, products and experiences produced by Vice’s digital brands, as well as the development of new direct-to-consumer products to be released next year.
In addition to the hires of Cooke and Cogswell, Vice recently expanded the duties of CFO Sarah Broderick to include the role of chief operating officer, overseeing global operations for all of Vice’s lines of business while continuing to serve as CFO. Prior to joining the company last year, she most recently served as chief accounting officer/global controller at WME-IMG.
Shane Smith, in announcing the appointments, said, “As we’re navigating the stormy chaos of the modern media landscape, Vice needs to be at the forefront when it comes to content creation and distribution. We realized that the driving force behind these strategies are very smart and dynamic people, so we bolstered our crew with three new senior management moves that we believe position us at the pointy edge of the spear.”
Smith called Cooke “a content, news and zeitgeist savant” and said Cogswell “has the vision to future-proof our company when it comes to releasing content across our ever-changing platforms.”
Separately on the personnel front, Vice in the last several weeks has been forced to confront allegations of harassment and other misconduct by employees. After an internal investigation prompted by a Daily Beast report describing a corporate culture hostile to women, Vice last week fired three employees for violations of its HR policies, including Jason Mojica, head of its documentary film unit.