Nancy Dubuc exits A+E Networks to join Vice Media as chief executive

Nancy Dubuc, shown in Hollywood on Dec. 6, has been named Vice Media's new chief executive.
(Jesse Grant / Getty Images)

Nancy Dubuc has been named chief executive of Vice Media, the millennial-focused digital content company.

Vice announced the appointment Tuesday, a day after Dubuc said she was leaving her role as chief of A+E Networks.

Dubuc is succeeding Shane Smith, Vice’s freewheeling founder, who will become executive chairman of the Brooklyn, N.Y-based outfit that specializes in programming that targets 18 to 34 year olds.

In a statement, Smith said his new position will enable him to “concentrate on the only things I’m good at — content and deals.”


Smith added that bringing Dubuc into the company is the result of a need at Vice for a “best-in-class management team to harness all of this growth and control our destiny, whether it be staying independent, strategically partnering with someone or going public.”

Smith described Dubuc as “one of my best friends and my hero” and said as a team they are “a modern day Bonnie and Clyde and we are going to take all your money.”

Dubuc has spent 20 years at A+E Networks. A+E Networks owners the Walt Disney Co. and Hearst announced Monday that Abbe Raven, who ran the group of cable networks for 33 years, is taking over as chairman in an interim capacity until a permanent successor to Dubuc is named.

Vice Media has been considered a candidate for a corporate makeover since being rocked by reports in December of systemic sexual harassment and having a culture that is not hospitable to women.

The company hired a new HR executive and stated a commitment to have a 50-50 split of male and female employees.

Vice’s cable channel Viceland has been part of Dubuc’s portfolio at A+E Networks, which also includes History, Lifetime and FYI. The channel has been challenged in its efforts to draw young viewers who have been turning away from cable and linear television watching.

Dubuc said in a statement that she now welcomes the opportunity to focus on youth-oriented media content full time at Vice.

“Shane and the team at Vice have done what all of us aspire to do — build a brand and make content that people really care about,” Dubuc said. “Vice speaks to a generation that defines today’s cultural conversation, and the opportunity to partner with all of the incredibly creative people across the entire company was one of those rare moments in a career.”

Twitter: @SteveBattaglio


11:15 a.m.: This article was updated with news of Nancy Dubuc’s appointment at Vice Media.

This article was originally published March 12 at 2:25 p.m.