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Rupert Murdoch buys into alternative media with a $70m slice of Vice

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Tim Walker
London Independent
August 19, 2013

Last October, the media proprietor Rupert Murdoch asked his Twitter followers: “Who’s heard of Vice Media? Wild, interesting effort to interest millennials who don’t read or watch established media. Global success.” Another tweeter quickly shot back: “Are you buying them?” “No way!” Murdoch replied, “Last thing they need is corporate sponsorship.”

It now appears that Mr Murdoch was being somewhat disingenuous: not only is Vice’s global success based in part on a series of lucrative sponsorship deals, but tomorrow it will also be announced that Murdoch’s 21st Century Fox has procured a 5 per cent stake in Vice Media for $70m (£45m). The deal values the free underground magazine-turned-global entertainment/news brand at $1.4bn.

Vice was founded as a government-funded community magazine in Montreal in 1994. Until six years ago, its print edition still accounted for around 70 per cent of the business. Today it accounts for less than 5 per cent. The company, which now has its headquarters in Brooklyn, New York, has 35 offices in 18 countries, a record label, an advertising agency, and an HBO television series.

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This article was posted: Monday, August 19, 2013 at 4:12 am





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