|From a list of 13 Disney brands, VICE is listed #1. This list is dated, and is from 2016.|
This is a surprising one for both companies. Disney, of course, was founded on family-friendly fare, led by a cartoon mouse. Vice Media was founded largely on counter-culture values in 1994, led by three Canadian punks. It began as a magazine called Voice of Montreal and gradually changed to Vice when it moved to New York City. Now, it's audience extends all around the world. These days, it has a massive and well-respected online presence and even debuted an HBO TV show in 2013. Not to mention their book publishing and music recording wings, the latter releasing albums by Snoop Dogg, Death From Above 1979, and The Raveonettes, among others.
But despite Disney’s traditional focus on all that is shiny and happy, and Vice’s focus on truth and disruptive, authentic journalism, Disney’s money trucks pulled up to Vice’s offices late in 2015 and dropped off $400 million for approximately a one-fifth share in the company (part of which came from the existing stake held by A&E, another brand we'll get to in a minute. One of the results of this deal is that Vice is taking over cable channel H2, rebranding it “Viceland,” which debuts in February 2016.
That said, Disney doesn't truly own Vice. After all, 20th Century Fox, Disney's rivals in film production also own a large part of the new media empire. Apparently, Vice is hot commodity these days.
Disney put more than $400 million into Vice Media. Now it says that investment is worthless.
A now-familiar story: Investors say they overvalued a high-flying digital publisher.
By Peter Kafka May 8, 2019, 9:04pm EDT