James Murdoch has purchased a minority stake in Vice Media, the once-upstart brand that is trying to reconfigure itself as many prominent digital-media brand grapple with a wave of consolidation, according to a new report.
The Financial Times reported that Murdoch’s investment vehicle, Lupa Systems, has secured a small ownership stake in Vice. A spokeswoman for Lupa said the company declined to comment, and Vice representatives were not able to offer immediate comment. The FT cited two people familiar with the matter. Murdoch, the younger son of Fox Corporation executive chairman Rupert Murdoch, already sits on the board.
Vice recently agreed to purchase Refinery29, a female-focused digital media outlet. Vice investors over the years have included Walt Disney Co., which has written down the majority of its ownership in the company.
Vice rose to fame by providing domestic and international news with a punk, “you are there” sensibility. The company secured a content deal with HBO that created both an award-winning documentary series as well as an experimental nightly newscast.
Jesse Angelo, a longtime James Murdoch confidante, was recently named to oversee news at Vice.