Talks between Vice Media and Time Warner are reportedly in progress and could lead to Vice gaining access to Time Warner’s Headline News Network, or HLN.
Sources told Sky News on Monday that talks between Time Warner and Vice
were at "an advanced stage" but that some final details have yet to be finalized.
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One potential structure under discussion, Sky reported, would see Time Warner injecting HLN, a news platform owned by its cable operations, into Vice in return for roughly half the enlarged company.
Vice's management team is expected to retain operational control of the media company as part of a deal with Time Warner. A deal between the two companies would also provide Vice with the ability to expand its international operations more quickly, Sky reported.
The company, which has aggressively gone after traditional news networks, operates some of YouTube's most popular channels and has content partnerships with several digital media providers, including Facebook and Twitter.
Vice has attracted attention from the global media industry with its provocative content, appealing mostly to the 18 to 34 male demographic.
In a 2013 New Yorker magazine article, Lizzie Widdecombe writes about Vice:
“From the perspective of established media companies, Vice’s biggest novelty is not its unruly journalistic techniques but its ability to make money in the Internet age. That, along with its young audience, has made Vice an object of industry fascination.”
Notably, Vice was the media company whose crew took former basketball star Dennis Rodman to North Korea to meet with Kim Jung Un last year.
A deal between Time Warner and Vice could still not materialize or a different arrangement may emerge, according to Sky.
Sky reported that it was unclear on Monday how Vice's existing minority shareholders would respond to a transaction with Time Warner. Representatives of Vice and Time Warner declined to comment on the negotiations.
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