EXCLUSIVE: As part of Viceland’s shift from entertainment to news programming and its integration with Vice News, the cable network, a joint venture between Vice and A+E Networks, has brought in award-winning news and non-fiction executive Morgan Hertzan as Executive Vice President and General Manager.
Reporting to Jesse Angelo, President, Global News & Entertainment, Hertzan, former GM of ABC News’ Lincoln Square Studios, will oversee programming and operations for Viceland and integrating Vice News content with the channel.
Guy Slattery, who served as Viceland President and GM for the past year and a half, will segue to a newly created role as global Chief Marketing Officer for Vice Media. Reporting to CEO Nancy Dubuc, he will oversee marketing across Vice’s line of business including Vice News, Viceland, Vice.com, Vice Studios and in-house agency Virtue. Slattery, Vice’s first-ever global Chief Marketing Officer, was one of Dubuc’s key executives at A+E Networks, where he served as EVP of Marketing, before being named Viceland Co-President in early 2017 alongside EVP Production Derek Freda who returned to producing later that year.
Hertzan’s appointment follows the news, first reported by Deadline a couple of weeks ago, that Vice News Tonight, the flagship show that gave Vice a daily presence on HBO, is moving to Viceland. That was followed by reports that Viceland has laid off about 15 people amid its integration with Vice News.
VNT on HBO had the youngest median age for a news program, in the mid-40s, which would make it a good fit for Viceland, a Top 10 youngest ad-supported entertainment network.
Viceland had gone through ratings challenges and lost one of its most popular programs, Desus & Mero, after the duo left for Showtime. There have been signs of a potential turnaround. Fueled in part by the breakout success of new docu series Dark Side of the Ring, which ranked as Viceland’s #1 most-watched original series ever among P18-49 and total viewers, the channel recently logged four consecutive months of growth among P18-34 and total viewers.
Hertzan, who has background in both news and non-fiction reality programming, is expected to examine Viceland’s slate and determine which of its docu-series will continue on the rebranded, news-focused network, anchored by Vice News Tonight.
Known for its young appeal, Vice News has 10.1 million subscribers across social platforms and has garnered a slew of Emmy nominations, along with three Peabody awards. While Vice Media has been undergoing staff cuts, the news division has been ramping up operations in the past few months by expanding its DC bureau and hiring 12 new correspondents in 2019 as well as branching out into podcasting with El Chapo on Spotify.
In addition to leading the programming strategy for Viceland, Hertzan will shepherd the development, creation and distribution of Vice News products to platforms with new partners.
“Morgan is a force in the news and television industry,” said Angelo. “From MTV and Lincoln Square to LX.TV and Viacom, he’s an executive who knows how to make impactful programming, telling stories that matter and serving audiences that others miss.”
Prior to Vice, Hertzan was partner at Efran Films where he created series and specials for History, Lifetime, Oxygen, ID, Food Network, and Bravo. He previously served as SVP and GM of Walt Disney Television/ABC News’ Lincoln Square Studios for five years, overseeing all non-fiction content development in cable and broadcast for ABC News, including Viola Davis’ The Last Defense for ABC, John Ridley’s award winning documentary event Let It Fall, Netflix’s Reversing Roe, Robin Roberts Presents for Lifetime and live programming including the Oscar Red Carpet Opening Ceremony Live.
Before his tenure at Disney/ABC, Hertzan was SVP at NBC Local Media, creating the daily talk show New York Live and was general manager of Lx.tv, a lifestyle production company that he co-founded in 2006 which was later acquired by NBC. Hertzan spent years at Viacom and MTV developing new businesses and programming while there including mtvU, a 24-hour college cable network that reached 750 campuses and over 7.5 million college students nationwide.
“Vice has earned the trust of an entire generation of news consumers, and I can’t wait to see it come alive on Viceland,” Hertzan said: “Both Nancy and Jesse have an incredible vision for the future of VICE, and I look forward to working with my friends at A+E Networks on this next exciting chapter.”
At Vice, Slattery built and led the team that launched the network in February 2016. As EVP of Marketing at A+E Networks, he was responsible for all marketing, creative and brand strategy for A+E and History, as well as the launch of lifestyle network FYI. Before his tenure at A+E Networks, Slattery led marketing and communications for the National Geographic Channel globally.