Shane Smith Returns to Vice as Editor-in-Chief, Sets New Podcast With Bill Maher SuperNayr

Shane Smith, who co-founded Vice in 1994 and stepped down as CEO in 2018 as the site began to flounder, is back, a development TheWrap reported in March.

“It’s your baby that you built, that you birthed,” Smith told The Wall Street Journal of his decision to return as Vice News’ editor-in-chief.

An insider told TheWrap in March that Smith was trying to raise money to buy Vice back from owner Fortress Investment Group, which helped Vice Media out of bankruptcy in 2023 for $350 million.

“Shane Smith has been telling anyone who will listen for the last 18 months that he is buying Vice Media back,” a former colleague told TheWrap at the time and that Smith wanted to buy back half of the company for $50 million.

Now that Smith has returned, he will focus on long-form documentaries and will be hosting a series of shows, including “Vice News: The Truth?”: The video podcast will be, according to the journal, free of political bias. Bill Maher will be a recurring guest and the show will be on his podcast network as well as on Vice TV.

The financially-strapped Vice gave up covering daily news earlier this year, laying off “several hundred,” Fortune reported in February.

In 2016, Disney, one of Vice’s investors, contemplated buying the company for $3.5 billion. Disney walked away and Smith vowed to build the company to a $50 billion valuation.

While Smith admitted to having made some mistakes, he laid most of the blame for Vice’s failure on Facebook, Amazon and Google for taking advertising revenue that used to go to news sites. “They killed independent publishing,” he told WSJ.

Bruce Dixon Vice

“Did we go too fast and get addicted to the money? Probably,” he said of mistakes made in Vice’s past.

In 2017, Smith approved a $450 million from buyout firm TPG, although other Board members has their reservations about the deal.

Smith also acknowledged that he did not create a “safe and inclusive workplace.”

“Obviously you can go back and say, I would have been a lot more ‘HR-lens’ in my workplace,” he said, adding he doesn’t want to look back: “Happiness is the future.”

The company recently sold “Hollywood Ending” to Amazon MGM Studios: The doc is about about Zach Horwitz, an actor who was sentenced in 2022 to 20 years in jail for running a $650 million Ponzi scheme.

Shane Smith, co-founder of VICE

Source link

Leave a Comment