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A+E to rebrand H2 as Vice channel: reports

According to assorted U.S. news reports, the move will see A+E's sister network for its History brand transition into the edgier, millennial-courting Vice network in 2016. (Pictured: Vice co-founder and CEO Shane Smith)
April 29, 2015

According to various U.S. news and trade reports, A+E Networks is making a bold move for the millennial set come 2016, and will create a joint venture with Vice Media resulting in the rebrand of A+E’s H2 net as a Vice channel.

The New York Post reported on Tuesday that ad agency sources who have “heard the pitch” say the new channel will feature lifestyle content geared to the Vice target audience, as well as documentary content.

Meanwhile, the Hollywood Reporter cites industry sources who say the channel will be a joint venture between A+E, which is owned by Disney and Hearst, and Vice Media. Last summer, A+E ponied up US$250 million for 10% of the multimedia company.

Previous speculation making the rounds earlier this year had H2, a sister net to A+E’s History brand, set to air a block of Vice programming. Currently, the Brooklyn-based content company produces a documentary series for HBO, hosted by Vice co-founder and CEO Shane Smith (pictured) and has struck a deal with the premium cabler that ups the episode order for that series from 14 to 35 per year, and will also see Vice produce a daily newscast for HBO as well as 32 news specials through to 2018. The deal also gives Vice its own branded channel on the HBO Now streaming service.

Last month, H2 programming head Paul Cabana was upped to EVP and head of programming for History and H2.

The Vice/H2 reports come as Vice preps for its upfront presentation in New York on Friday, and A+E hosts its upfront on Thursday.

An A+E spokesperson was not immediately available for comment at press time.

About The Author
Managing editor with realscreen publication, an international print and online magazine that covers the non-fiction film and television industries. Darah is an award-winning journalist who has spent over two decades covering a wide range of issues from real estate and urban development to immigration, politics and human rights, primarily with The Vancouver Sun. Prior to joining realscreen, she was editor of Stream Daily, realscreen's sister publication covering the dynamic global digital video industry. She also served a stint as a war reporter in Afghanistan for television and print, and was a national business blogger with Yahoo Canada.

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