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HBO Cancels 'Vice News Tonight'

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06/10/2019 | 03:03pm EDT

By Patrick Thomas

HBO has canceled Vice Media's "Vice News Tonight," ending the show's seven-year run with the premium channel.

The decision follows content strategy changes at HBO, said Nancy Dubuc, Vice's chief executive, in a letter to staffers provided by a Vice spokesperson. The media platform said it would continue to produce a daily news show and that the distribution details will be announced in the coming weeks.

Josh Tyrangiel, Vice's news chief and head of the show, will step down from his role at the end of June. He will stay on as a consultant until the show officially ends in September.

WarnerMedia's HBO is a unit of AT&T Inc., which has been shaking up the executive ranks at WarnerMedia since it acquired the business a year ago. Earlier this year, HBO Chairman and CEO Richard Plepler and Turner President David Levy announced their resignations.

Vice Media named former New York Post publisher and chief executive Jesse Angelo to a newly created role of president, global news and entertainment, overseeing Vice's news, television and digital businesses. Ms. Dubuc said part of Mr. Angelo's role will be to expand Vice's news presence.

Earlier this year Vice combined much of its online "verticals," including Munchies, Motherboard and Vice News, under the umbrella of a revamped Vice.com. The company said its digital footprint reaches more than 300 million people globally each month.

In 2015 Vice launched a cable channel, Viceland, just as cable television's decline was accelerating. Meanwhile, Ms. Dubuc has been focused on areas of growth at the company, including its in-house advertising agency, Virtue.

Among the most memorable moments for "Vice News Tonight" was its 2017 coverage of the Unite the Right rally in Charlottesville, Va., which turned deadly when a driver with Nazi sympathies rammed his car into counterprotesters, killing a woman.

"We knit together the youngest audience in news with prestigious storytelling like no one else in media," Mr. Tyrangiel said in a memo to staff members Monday.

Vice, founded in 1994 as a Montreal punk 'zine, vaulted to the front of the pack of digitally driven media companies in recent years and became a top destination for "native" advertising, content created for brands that is meant to mimic the look and feel of editorial content. It diversified into films and TV, including the cable-TV channel Viceland.

Ms. Dubuc took the reins from co-founder Shane Smith in May 2018 in the wake of reports of sexual harassment at the company that prompted apologies from Vice for what it called its "boys club" culture.

Write to Patrick Thomas at Patrick.Thomas@wsj.com

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