Vice Media Loses Its HBO Show and a Top Executive

There were significant changes at Vice Media on Monday as the company — which was once operated more like a frat party than a business — takes shape under new leadership.

First came the news that HBO was canceling the nightly program “Vice News Tonight” and that the executive who oversaw the show, Josh Tyrangiel, would be leaving the company.

Vice Media quickly followed that report, which appeared in The Hollywood Reporter, with an announcement that Jesse Angelo, the former publisher of The New York Post, would become the company’s president of global news and entertainment.

The changes occurred on the watch of Nancy Dubuc, a former head of the A&E cable network who joined Vice Media as chief executive last year and has been charged with the task of stanching the flow of red ink at the company.

“Vice News Tonight” was the first show of its kind on HBO — a daily news program aimed at a younger audience — but it had trouble breaking through the din, averaging a little more than 550,000 viewers a day. Its cancellation comes in the wake of HBO’s dropping “Vice,” a weekly newsmagazine, last year, effectively ending the relationship between the premium cable network and the upstart media brand.

“We’ve decided not to renew ‘Vice News Tonight’ after this season,” HBO’s executive vice president of programming, Nina Rosenstein, said. “We’ve had a terrific seven years partnering with Vice Media, first with the weekly newsmagazine series and most recently with the nightly news show.”

Mr. Tyrangiel was the editor of Bloomberg Businessweek for six years before he jumped to Vice in 2015. “It’s been nearly four incredible years of harrowing challenges and huge highs,” Mr. Tyrangiel said in an email to the Vice Media staff.

Started as a freebie ‘zine in Montreal in 1994, Vice Media has grown into a major entity with roughly 3,000 employees, the Viceland cable network, a digital outlet and a film-production company. Mr. Tyrangiel helped make it a player in news.

In addition to her efforts to turn around the company’s finances, Ms. Dubuc has worked to change a corporate culture once rife with sexual misconduct. A New York Times investigation in 2017 detailed the mistreatment of women at the company and found four settlements involving allegations of sexual harassment or defamation against Vice employees.

Mr. Angelo, the executive who is scheduled to start at Vice Media later this month, left The Post in January after working for two decades in various roles at the tabloid, which is part of Rupert Murdoch’s shrinking media empire. His exit came soon after James Murdoch, Rupert’s younger son, left the family fold.

The Murdoch company, 21st Century Fox, owned a piece of Vice Media for a time; James Murdoch is still on the Vice board as an independent member. Mr. Murdoch and Mr. Angelo have known each other since they were children, and Mr. Angelo was the best man at James’s wedding.

The younger Murdoch stepped down as a chief executive of 21st Century Fox after the family sold most of its assets to The Walt Disney Company for more than $70 billion. The Fox stake in Vice went to Disney as part of that deal, giving Disney 27 percent of the company.

“With him joining our executive team, Vice’s strategic growth plan for news will begin and complement wider partnership opportunities already underway,” Ms. Dubuc said of Mr. Angelo in a statement.

A Vice Media spokeswoman disputed the relevance of any connection between Mr. Angelo and Mr. Murdoch. “Nancy made the decision to hire Jesse 100 percent,” the spokeswoman said. “Our board was not involved in the decision.”

In a statement of his own, Mr. Angelo said, “The quality and impact of Vice News, Viceland and our digital channels are unparalleled, as are the people.”

Vice Media recently laid off 10 percent of its staff, placed several of its websites under the umbrella and took on $250 million in debt financing from several investors, including George Soros. Disney said in a filing earlier this year that it had taken a $353 million write-down on its stake in the company. Disney had previously written off $157 million.

But there are signs of expansion under Ms. Dubuc. Last week the company announced a new executive managing editor of its website and said it planned to hire roughly a dozen more journalists.

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