Check Out Our New Look

Is Time Warner Planning To Buy A Big Stake In Vice Media?

By | Monday June 9, 2014 @ 3:30pm PDT

Vice logoBritain’s Sky News says that the companies have held “detailed negotiations” that are at an “advanced stage” for a deal that values the upstart news organization at $2.2B. One scenario would have Time Warner — which just spun off its magazine operation — meld its news channel HLN with Vice in return for about half of the combined company. If true, then it would give Time Warner a close relationship with a trendy digital media, TV, and publishing company that has captured the imaginations and financial support of former MTV chief Tom Freston, WME’s Ari Emanuel, WPP, and The Raine Group as well as comedian Bill Maher. 

CEO Shane Smith founded Vice in 1994 as a music magazine; it now offers cutting edge news that critics say too often includes stunts. Supporters and critics feasted last year on Vice’s controversial effort to gain access to North Korea for its documentary series on HBO by arranging an exhibition basketball game featuring Chicago Bulls star Dennis Rodman and some members of the Harlem Globetrotters. 

Last year News Corp (before it split into two companies) paid $70M for 5% of Vice, implying a value of $1.4B for the full company. Rupert Murdoch once tweeted that the company is a “wild, interesting effort to interest millennials who don’t watch or read established media.” 

Comments (4)

Kino Lorber Takes Iranian Vampire Western ‘A Girl Walks Home Alone At Night’

A Girl Walks Home Alone at NightAna Lily Amirpour made an auspicious debut at Sundance with her A Girl Walks Home Alone At Night and now Kino Lorber has snagged North American rights to the first-time helmer’s genre mash-up. Described as the world’s first Iranian vampire Western, the black and white horror/spaghetti Western is set in an Iranian ghost town where the denizens are unaware they’re being stalked by a lonesome bloodsucker. Amirpour wrote, directed, and produced the film which landed a spot in Sundance’s NEXT section and was the opening-night selection of MOMA and the Film Society’s New Directors/New Films program. Argo‘s Sheila Vand stars with Arash Marandi (Kunduz: The Incident At Hadji Ghafur), Dominic Rains (The Taqwacores), Mozhan Marnó (House Of Cards, The Stoning Of Soraya M), Rome Shadanloo, Marshall Manesh and Milad Eghbali rounding out the cast.

Joining Kino Lorber on the film’s domestic release is VICE Media, which will partner on transmedia cross promotion and an aggressive social media campaign. Youth-skewing VICE, which last year teamed with Drafthouse Films on Oscar-nominated The Act Of Killing, is an appropriate distribution partner given the film’s soundtrack combining Middle Eastern fusion band Bei Ru, underground Iranian rockers Radio Tehran and Kiosk, and spaghetti Western-influenced Portland band Federale. Kino Lorber and VICE are plotting an October theatrical release with digital and home media debuts to follow in early 2015. Kino Lorber’s Richard Lorber struck the deal with Cinetic Media. “This stunning and stinging cinematic marvel left us speechless at its premiere, said Lorber. “We dream of finding visionary films that peel away the gauze, as Ana Lily does with rare originality in this unprecedented work.” Read More »

Comments (3)