Commentary

HBO Cancels Vice Series; Vice Hires Angelo To Oversee News

HBO has canceled "Vice News Tonight," ending a seven-year collaboration with the millennial-focused Vice Media.

As a result, Josh Tyrangiel, Vice’s executive vice president of news, will leave the company this month. He will stay on as a consultant until the show airs its final episode in September, according to The Hollywood Reporter.

Jesse Angelo, the former chairman-CEO of the New York Post, was hired to oversee news, TV and digital at Vice, according to an CEO Nancy Dubuc. Angelo will lead efforts to find a new outlet for a news show like the one created for HBO.

Angelo worked for News Corp.’s NYP for about 20 years, starting as a business reporter in 1999 who covered Wall Street during the dot-com bubble. He created a TV unit called New York Post Entertainment, whose “Page Six TV” was recently canceled after two seasons.

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Angelo left the NYP in January.

Guy Slattery, president of the Viceland cable channel, and Chief Digital Officer Cory Haik will report directly to Angelo.

The cancellation of "Vice News Tonight" follows HBO’s decision in February to cut its Emmy-winning weekly documentary news series “Vice.” The program notably chronicled NBA star Dennis Rodman’s visit to North Korea in 2013.

HBO’s cancellation of Vice’s daily news show is another sign that the pay-TV channel is changing direction under AT&T, whose $85 billion acquisition of HBO’s parent company, Time Warner Inc., overcame antitrust objections in February.

AT&T renamed the company as WarnerMedia and started shaking up its executive ranks. Former HBO Chairman-CEO Richard Plepler and Turner President David Levy announced their resignations in March.

HBO faces pressure to compete with the crowded market for streaming video services, especially since its hit series “Game of Thrones” ended last month after eight seasons. Tyrangiel was close to Plepler, and decided to leave Vice amid the unwinding of "Vice News Tonight," Variety reported.

Before joining the company in 2015, Tyrangiel was chief content officer, Bloomberg Media. The financial data company hired him six years before as editor in chief of BusinessWeek, the ailing magazine acquired from McGraw-Hill.

Tyrangiel helped to raise the profile of the magazine, which won the National Magazine Award for general excellence in 2012.

"Vice News Tonight" has had several memorable moments, including its 2017 coverage of the Unite the Right rally in Charlottesville, Va. The gathering culminated in deadly clashes after a Nazi sympathizer rammed his car into counter-protesters and killed a woman.

The series received four News and Documentary Emmy Awards, a Peabody Award and several other accolades for its reporting.

“We knit together the youngest audience in news with prestigious storytelling like no one else in media,” Tyrangiel said in a memo to staff.

In a statement, HBO thanked Josh Tyrangiel for “his tireless effort in creating a news show from the ground up, geared for a modern generation of viewers.”

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