Does VICE have any semblance of cool left now that it is owned in part by News Corp. and top consultant Tom Freston (once of Viacom); has a TV series on HBO; bought a corporate branding company (Carrot Creative); etc., etc.? BBC News seems to think that VICE’s head hipster Shane Smith is well on the way to becoming the next Rupert Murdoch, scary as that may sound:
Shane Smith looks like the type of man who enjoys getting into fights in rough bars.
With his beard and tattoos, the big bear of a 44-year-old Canadian can appear rather intimidating. You wouldn’t want to spill his pint.
Looks can be deceptive, however, as through brains rather than brawn Mr Smith has built up a personal fortune of $400m (£240m).
The founder and boss of New York-based Vice Media, he could very well be the next Rupert Murdoch, such is his ambition for global domination.
Mr Murdoch himself seems to think it is possible, as last year the media mogul’s News Corporation group spent $70m buying a 5% stake in Vice.
The two men toasted the deal by going for a beer in a Brooklyn bar.
But for those of us above a certain age, or who aren’t very fashionable, what exactly is Vice?
It is a multimedia business that includes an eponymous website and a growing number of sister sites, its own channel on YouTube, and an advertising agency.
It also has a TV show on US cable station HBO, a print magazine, a record label and a book publishing division…
[continues at BBC News]