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HBO, Vice announce expansive news content deal

VICE, HBO expand news content deal

HBO and Vice Media will expand their news content programming in a new four-year deal.

Under the content deal, announced on Thursday, Vice will launch a five-day-a-week newscast. HBO will also increase the number of Vice-produced long-form specials to 32 through 2018. HBO's current documentary news show "Vice" will expand from 14 episodes per year to 35 episodes per year.  

Vice's programming will also have a dedicated channel on HBO Now, the network's stand-alone streaming service set to launch next month on Apple devices.

Vice, founded by Shane Smith in 1994, started as a punk magazine that aimed to capture the offbeat and quirky side of life. It has tried to maintain its image as an alternative to mainstream media outlets, appealing to young, edgier people while doing deals with mass media giants.

It has now built itself into a multimedia network, with digital channels, a television and feature film production studio, a magazine, a record label and a book-publishing division. 

“I think the first thing, perhaps the hardest thing, I learned about journalism over the past 20 years is that maintaining any type of independence, any type of freedom, is difficult as you scale up," Smith said in a statement. "This deal, simply put, allows Vice the freedom to go after any story, anywhere we find it – and to do so with complete independence."

Richard Plepler, CEO of HBO, and Michael Lombardo, president, HBO programming, echoed enthusiasm for the new deal, calling Vice's journalism "groundbreaking and dynamic."

"This extension of the HBO/Vice relationship ... is a natural evolution of our partnership," Lombardo and Plepler said in a joint statement. "All of us at HBO couldn’t be more excited working with the Vice team and helping to tell the stories which define our world."

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