VICE Magazine and Rogers will come together (right now, over me) to form a 24-hour Canadian news channel, ready for production and release in 2015.
In a press release published on Thursday, Rogers said the new network will provide content over the “holy trinity” of platforms – mobile, web, and TV – and will focus on entertainment and news coverage, which sounds similar to the theme VICE has run on for the past 20 years.
“VICE Media will return home to Canada to team up with Rogers and establish a state-of-the-art multimedia production studio,” Rogers’ release states. “The new Toronto studio, which will operate under VICE’s creative direction, will be dedicated to producing the very best Canadian content for mobiles, tablets, computers and TV screens and will be exported around the world.”
The two companies will together form a new studio (the VICE Canada Studio) to produce content for a VICE TV Network (channel) as well as VICE’s already established slew of online properties, currently anchored on Vice.com and VICE’s YouTube channel.
VICE was founded as a counter-culture print magazine in 1994 in Montreal, Quebec by Shane Smith, Suroosh Alvi, and the since gone-stage-right Gavin McInnes. Although the magazine’s content has evolved from anti-establishment to all-encompassing, the tone has remained opinionated, aggressive, and youthful and, because of that, VICE’s readership remains young and mobile – that always-so-coveted age 18-to-34 demographic that TV studios (like Rogers) have never seemed capable of locking down.
VICE has since moved its offices from Montreal to Brooklyn, New York, but also has offices in 36 countries around the world that employ over 1,500 people.
“It was 20 years ago, deep down in the port of Old Montreal that we set out to try and make a magazine that didn’t suck,” said Smith, in the release. “This year we return to the homeland, all our hard lessons learned, to build from scratch a completely horizontally and vertically integrated ultra-modern media entity. Essentially we are building a content creation hub that will generate premium video for a cutting edge media company that will program – simultaneously – the holy trinity of convergence; mobile, online, and TV.
“Our partner on this ambitious project will be Rogers. We’ll build something truly special, deeply innovative and dedicated to the youth of this country.”
Rogers president and CEO Guy Laurence called VICE “the obvious choice to partner with” and said the collaboration will be a “powerhouse” studio that will “shake up Canada with exciting, provocative content and we’ll export it around the world.”
VIDEO: Vice News YouTube Channel (Playlist)