HBO is not renewing Vice Media’s “Vice News Tonight,” ending the premium cabler’s seven-year relationship with the youth-culture media company — throwing another curveball at Vice as it tries to turn its business around.
Vice announced that it has tapped Jesse Angelo, former CEO and publisher of the New York Post, to oversee all news and entertainment and lead efforts to strike a deal to find a “new home” for a news show similar to the one it has produced for HBO.
Josh Tyrangiel, EVP of news at Vice Media, will leave the company in the latest executive shakeup at Vice under CEO Nancy Dubuc. Tyrangiel, who has overseen Vice’s nightly news show for HBO, will stay on board through the end of the run of “Vice News Tonight,” which will finish airing on HBO in early September. Tyrangiel, former chief content officer of Bloomberg Media, joined Vice in the fall of 2015. The changes at Vice were first reported by THR.
Vice announced that Angelo will immediately assume the newly created position of president, global news and entertainment, reporting to Dubuc. Guy Slattery, president of Viceland, and recently hired chief digital officer Cory Haik will now report directly to Angelo, as will Tyrangiel’s direct reports effective June 24.
A source familiar with the situation said Tyrangiel’s decision to leave was part of the unwinding of “Vice News Tonight” and the changing of the guard at HBO under AT&T’s WarnerMedia. Tyrangiel was close to Richard Plepler, who exited as CEO of HBO in February.
In a statement, HBO EVP of programming Nina Rosenstein said, “We’ve had a terrific seven years partnering with Vice Media, first with the weekly news magazine series and most recently with the nightly news show. We want to particularly thank Josh Tyrangiel for his tireless effort in creating a news show from the ground up, geared for a modern generation of viewers. We are very proud of what Josh and his team accomplished.”
Vice said it expects to announce “a new distribution platform” in the coming weeks for a nightly Vice News show aimed at viewers under 35. In addition, according to a memo Dubuc sent to staff Monday, Vice News is “well into production” on a yet-to-be-announced news series led by producer Subrata De with “a large streaming partner” — which is Hulu, sources confirmed.
“We’ve had a great run with our friends at HBO and now we’re excited to launch our news products on new platforms, solidifying our place as one of the most trusted brands out there, drawing the youngest audience of anyone in hard news,” Dubuc said in a statement. In her memo, she positioned the “Vice News Tonight” cancellation as coming amid “a lot of the leadership and content strategy changes over at HBO.”
HBO’s cancellation of the four-times-per-week “Vice News Tonight” comes after the premium cabler earlier this year axed Vice’s weekly documentary program, which had run for six years.
In the memo to staff, Dubuc claimed that the Vice News business is growing and has made key hires ahead of the 2020 election. “It’s important to remember that Vice News is an entire business division, not just one show on one platform with limited U.S. distribution,” she wrote.
The end of the HBO pact is unquestionably a blow to Vice’s business. For now, Vice doesn’t plan any layoffs associated with the end of “Vice News Tonight.” The company cut 10% of its staff earlier this year in a cost-cutting move and in May raised $250 million in debt funding. Meanwhile, Viceland continues to struggle: The A+E Networks-affiliated cabler cancelled “Vice Live,” its weeknight live show, less than two months after it debuted because of low ratings.
Angelo, based in Vice’s Brooklyn headquarters, will lead three of its five global businesses: Vice News, digital and Viceland. The company’s other two divisions are its studio and in-house ad agency Virtue.
“Jesse is a news pioneer and has built an incredible career by successfully expanding the world of publishing into wider forms of distribution through a multitude of platforms, including digital, social, audio and television,” Dubuc said in announcing his hire. “With him joining our executive team, Vice’s strategic growth plan for news will begin and complement wider partnership opportunities already underway.”
Dubuc’s hire of Angelo and the departure of Tyrangiel are the latest leadership changes at Vice. Last week it laid off two top editors — Vice.com editor-in-chief Jonathan Smith and managing editor Rachel Schallom — and announced that Erika Allen, most recently with New York Magazine’s The Cut, rejoined the company as executive managing editor, reporting to Katie Drummond, a former top editor at the Outline and Gizmodo who joined Vice as senior VP of digital in March.
Last month Vice relaunched vice.com to merge all of its content under one umbrella, aiming to boost total audience engagement and ad revenue, and hired Cory Haik, former publisher of digital news start-up Mic, as chief digital officer to oversee global audience growth and development, platform partnerships and digital product innovation.
Angelo had spent two decades at News Corp’s New York Post, departing as publisher and CEO and chief of digital advertising solutions for News Corp in January. He joined the Post in 1999 as a reporter, covering Wall Street during the dot-com boom. At the Post, Angelo launched a new TV unit, New York Post Entertainment, and created syndicated entertainment show “Page Six TV,” which will end after two seasons.
Prior to the Post, Angelo worked at News Corp papers in London and Sydney. He holds an undergraduate degree from Harvard College in American history and literature and sits on the board of the Craig Newmark Graduate School of Journalism CUNY Foundation.