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Vice Media cranks up news operations



EST December 16, 2013



Shane Smith with rebel fighters in Benghazi, Libya, after disembarking the fishing vessel Thaleel, that sailed between Misrata and Benghazi.(Photo: Tim Freccia, Vice Media)SAN FRANCISCO What do military drones in Pakistan, arms expositions in Jordan and a naked beer drinking man in Brooklyn have in common? They are all part of the go anywhere storytelling style of Vice Media.



Vice’s unvarnished view of the world
fake ray bans may be the voice of a new generation. The Brooklyn based company’s edgy brand of journalism is scoring with Generation Y. Vice has blasted off from scrappy origins as a culture zine out of Canada to an online juggernaut of provocative media whose coverage spans the world’s affairs.



Vice eschews traditional broadcast news for behind the scenes storytelling, offering an alternative to the likes of CNN. Vice reporters are "one of us" and sometimes what they report really "punches you in the stomach," says Tom Freston, a former Viacom and
discount ray bans MTV executive who is an investor and informal adviser to Vice.



Now, Vice is boosting its operations. The publisher is building a Venice Beach, Calif., editorial bureau and is staking out San Francisco, focusing on new video production studios. That adds to its growing network of 34 bureaus worldwide.



Expansion at Vice comes as cash strapped traditional publishers struggle with reinvention in the digital era and scores of well funded online media start ups emerge.



In October, Vox Media landed $40 million in funding from Silicon Valley venture firm Accel Partners to expand video efforts at its Web destinations The Verge, SB Nation and Polygon. Internet traffic focused BuzzFeed this year attracted $19 million in funding, while Henry Blodget’s Business Insider took in $5 million and is rumored for sale at $100 million.



"These are audience building machines," says Rich LeFurgy, principal at online ad consultancy Archer Advisors.



Rupert Murdoch’s 21st Century Fox in August injected $70 million into Vice, swelling the wealth of co founder and CEO Shane Smith, 44, worth a reported $400 million on a $1.4 billion company valuation.



"Our audience is actually saying make more news," Smith says. "We tell stories that a lot of other people don’t tell, and we tell them in a different way. That’s what’s really been resonating with our audience. Monthly unique Internet visitors to Vice have tripled to about 7.5 million, according to measurement firm comScore. Likewise, BuzzFeed has nearly doubled to 22.6 million monthly unique visitors. Vox Media’s tech focused Web site The Verge has more than doubled, to about 7.2 million.



Vice also operates a network of vertical interest sites such as Noisey which covers music, creates events and produces music videos in another line item of income
fake ray bans that the publisher says amount to millions more viewers. Sometimes dubbed Vice’s far flung media empire spans books, its magazine, an HBO series and foreign television.



Video has been a big focus from Vice, Vox and others. Vice counts 4.8 million subscribers across its various YouTube channels. Smith, a star of
cheap ray bans its videos, personifies Vice’s bold attitude. When Vice reached 2 million YouTube subscribers, Smith made good on a promise to go to work naked sporting just tattoos, a cod piece and a beer.Articles Connexes: