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Vice’s struggling cable channel to rebrand as Vice TV

December 3, 2019 6:31 PM
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Vice’s struggling cable channel to rebrand as Vice TV

Viceland, Vice Media’s troubled cable network, will be rebranding as Vice TV in the near future, amidst a broader content pivot from lifestyle content to news.

The name change is not yet announced, although in recent days Viceland’s social media pages have changed to reflect the new branding, as has the channel’s iOS app. Promotional material for shows that have recently premiered on the channel bear the Vice logo, as opposed to the Viceland logo older shows have. In a recent interview at Code Media, Vice CEO Nancy Dubuc referred to the cable channel as "Vice TV."

The rebranding to Vice TV mirrors a broader content shift already underway at Viceland under Dubuc. The channel previously focused on lifestyle and culture programming, including shows like Ellen Page’s Gaycataion and Gloria Steinem’s WOMAN. Vice’s well-regarded News division was unable to contribute programming to the network because of an exclusivity deal with HBO. That deal ended earlier this year, and Vice quickly announced that they intended to use Vice News as the channel’s anchor. A flurry of layoffs followed in the Viceland programming department, as the company began prepping a slate of news-focused shows. The channel has been broadcasting the Trump Impeachment hearings with live commentary from Vice News reporters, a first for the division and by all accounts a sign of things to come. The channel has also begun airing daily news updates from Vice News, a series of documentaries called Vice News Reports, and plans to relaunch the daily newscast Vice News Tonight early next year.

Viceland premiered with bombastic expectations in early 2016, at the tail end of Vice’s explosive growth period. Vice CEO Shane Smith told reporters that “12 months from now [Vice will] be on the cover of Time magazine as the guys who brought millennials back to TV.“ Smith’s bravado proved to be deluouially optimistic; Viceland has struggled over its three years of existence, with dismal ratings, stunning programming failures, and aborted international deals. Carriage fees make the channel one of the few profitable divisions in Vice, yet Viceland has failed to become the next MTV or reverse the sagging interest in cable television among younger demographics.

A Vice spokesperson did not respond to a request for confirmation of the rebranding.