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Vice News Hires Susie Banikarim to Head Newsgathering Operations (EXCLUSIVE)

Susie Banikarim, a journalist with nearly two decades of experience in digital and TV news, is joining Vice News as one of its top editorial execs.

Vice Media Group tapped Banikarim as executive VP and global head of newsgathering for Vice News, a newly created role. She will be based out of Vice’s Brooklyn headquarters and report to Jesse Angelo, president of global news and entertainment.

At Vice News, Banikarim will oversee newsgathering functions and daily newsroom operations for bureaus across New York, Washington, D.C., London and L.A. as well as the news organization’s digital and social-media divisions. Banikarim is scheduled to start at Vice News on Jan. 6, 2020.

Her hire comes after the recent exit of Vice News EVP Josh Tyrangiel, who had been the organization’s highest-ranking editorial exec and oversaw both “Vice News Tonight” and the weekly “Vice” series (which were canceled by HBO before Vice announced revival plans for both shows).

At Vice News, Banikarim will work alongside Subrata De, senior executive producer of long form, and Maral Usefi, executive producer of news, to manage the organization’s reporting teams. Banikarim also will team with SVP of global content Katie Drummond, who joined Vice Digital earlier this year, and collaborate with Morgan Hertzan, recently recruited as EVP and general manager of Viceland, on Vice News’ slate of news and documentary programming for the cable channel.

“Susie is a powerhouse in the world of news,” Angelo, former publisher of the New York Post who joined Vice in June, said in announcing her hire. “She’s a rare veteran of both digital media and television and we’re thrilled that she’ll be bringing her decades worth of experience to our newsroom.”

Most recently, Banikarim was editorial director and EVP of Gizmodo Media Group, exiting after Univision’s sale of the group to private-equity backed G/O Media. At Gizmodo Media Group, she led editorial strategy and oversaw Deadspin, Gizmodo, Jalopnik, Jezebel, Kotaku, Lifehacker, Splinter and The Root.

Prior to Univision/GMG, she was briefly filmmaker-in-residence at Harvard University’s Shorenstein Center on Media, Politics and Public Policy and chief content officer of Vocativ for two years. Before that, Banikarim helped launch the first season of Katie Couric’s syndicated talk show “Katie” as an editorial producer for Disney-ABC Television Group in 2012. She also was deputy director of editorial at Newsweek Daily Beast, where she launched its video efforts and executive produced Daily Beast TV.

Banikarim began her career at ABC News, where she held a range of roles including senior producer for “ABC World News.” She’s a recipient of the Edward R. Murrow Award for feature reporting and has five Emmy nominations.

Banikarim commented, “In a time when we are losing many of media’s most brash voices, Vice continues to tackle stories others won’t with unique authenticity and irreverence. Vice News’ commitment to fearless, provocative global journalism is unrivaled and I’m looking forward to working with Jesse and the incredible team to shape its next chapter.”

Among Vice News’ other recent appointments, it has promoted international correspondent Seb Walker to the role of D.C. bureau chief. In addition to covering politics from Washington, he will continue to provide conflict reportage from the Middle East.

“I’ve reported from the front lines of the world’s worst political crises, and I’m excited to bring that perspective to Washington, D.C.,” Walker said in a statement. “Our viewers trust us to be different and to be honest — that’s a unique quality when covering this election and it’s where we can definitely add value.”

Vice News is developing more news and documentary programming for Viceland, including “Vice News Reports” and the relaunch of the nightly “Vice News Tonight” in 2020. In addition, the news org sold a docu-series on Hulu (“Vice Investigates“); cut a deal with Showtime for a 13-episode run of weekly docu-series “Vice” (formerly at HBO); and inked a podcast pact with Spotify.

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