As HBO announced the end of nightly news show Vice News Tonight Monday, Vice Media confirmed a major change in its management ranks, installing Jesse Angelo as news and entertainment chief and parting ways with Josh Tyrangiel.
Angelo, former CEO and publisher of The New York Post, will take the title of President, Global News and Entertainment. reporting to Vice Media CEO Nancy Dubuc. A former protégé of Rupert Murdoch and close friend of James Murdoch, Angelo quickly rose through the ranks of the Post, becoming city editor in his late-20s before leading its digital efforts and ascending to the top job.
Tyrangiel similarly climbed the media ladder at a young age, first at Time magazine and then as the top editor of Business Week magazine, which he substantially overhauled after its acquisition by Bloomberg. Under Tyrangiel, Vice created a TV news operation that sought to build on the DNA of HBO’s weekly Vice-branded half-hour documentary series. The daily show won a Peabody Award and lured talent from traditional networks with its innovative aesthetic and efforts to avoid pack journalism.
The youth appeal of Vice was a key part of the rollout of HBO Now, the stand-alone streaming service that launched in 2015. Through HBO, Vice gained wider mainstream visibility. and delivered memorable segments and specials about prison reform, the 2017 rally by white supremacists in Charlottesville, and the logjam between Republicans and Democrats during President Obama’s administration.
“We’ve decided not to renew Vice News Tonight after this season,” HBO EVP of Programming Nina Rosenstein said in a statement. “We’ve had a terrific seven years partnering with VICE Media, first with the weekly news magazine series and most recently with the nightly news show. We want to particularly thank Josh Tyrangiel for his tireless effort in creating a news show from the ground up, geared for a modern generation of viewers. We are very proud of what Josh and his team accomplished.”
Angelo’s position is a new one for Vice, which has been navigating choppy waters in recent months. He will lead three of the company’s five global businesses: News, Digital and TV. As the company positioned it, the change will “bolster and expand” the Vice News operation, making it a “key pillar of the company’s strategic growth plan” and knitting it more tightly with the other divisions.
Vice has been engaged in a multi-faceted restructuring effort aimed at addressing issues in its workplace culture and shoring up its competitive position in a fast-changing media landscape. It laid off about 10% of its workforce earlier this year and has sought to put revelations of pervasive sexual misconduct and a “frat-boy” workplace in the rear-view mirror. Disney, one of the company’s blue-chip investors, has disclosed in recent SEC filings that it took writedowns on more than $500 million in investments in Vice, which have netted it a stake of more than 20%. Cable network Viceland, which replaced A+E Networks’ H2 in 2016, has struggled in the ratings, creating a dilemma for A+E, which owns 10% of Vice.
Dubuc, the former A+E Networks CEO who took over Vice from co-founder Shane Smith as CEO a year ago, said Angelo was the right choice to help lead the turnaround. “Jesse is a news pioneer and has built an incredible career by successfully expanding the world of publishing into wider forms of distribution through a multitude of platforms, including digital, social, audio and television,” she said in the press release. “With him joining our executive team, Vice’s strategic growth plan for news will begin and complement wider partnership opportunities already underway. We’ve had a great run with our friends at HBO and now we’re excited to launch our news products on new platforms, solidifying our place as one of the most trusted brands out there, drawing the youngest audience of anyone in hard news.”
Angelo, whose departure from News Corp.’s Post stunned many Murdoch watchers last January, praised the “legacy” of Vice in a statement.
“Nobody does it better than Vice, and Nancy is an exceptional leader with a powerful vision. I’m also honored to be part of the legacy that has created one of the most unique and admired brands in the media business,” Angelo said. “The quality and impact of Vice News, Viceland and our digital channels are unparalleled, as are the people, and I’m looking forward to expanding and growing their footprint so that more viewers around the world can be informed and entertained by all the great work they do every day.”
Subscribe to Deadline Breaking News Alerts and keep your inbox happy.