The deal just came to light although it was made before the end of June when News Corp split into separate entertainment and publishing companies. But it gives 21st Century Fox a foothold in 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. Vice plans to use the cash and connections with Fox to expand overseas, especially India. “We get to make all the content we want? With the best platforms in the world? Grow our brand exponentially? Become the next global media brand? And all the while own the vast majority of the company and vote 95% of the board? Where-do-we-fucking-sign?!” Vice founder and CEO Shane Smith says. Vice was founded in 1994 as a music magazine, and now offers cutting edge news that critics say too often includes stunts. Supporters and critics feasted this 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. The Financial Times, which broke the news of the investment, says that Rupert Murdoch ignited speculation that Fox might buy Vice last year when he said on Twitter that the company is a “wild, interesting effort to interest millennials who don’t watch or read established media.” Freston helped Vice with the Fox deal.
Subscribe to Deadline Breaking News Alerts and keep your inbox happy.