Viacom has no interest in Vice Media and will not move for a stake in the hipster brand. An earlier US report had said interim Viacom boss Bob Bakish was interested in Vice, in part to demonstrate there is a strategy in place for Viacom if the mooted merger with CBS does not happen.
Speaking at the UBS media conference yesterday he said: “Unequivocally I have no interest in buying a stake in Vice, and we are not going to do it.”
The statement puts an end to the Viacom-Vice rumours, which had been given credence by the fact Vice targets a similar demo to MTV, and has is one of the few media groups currently aggressively rolling out linear channels internationally.
Vice had attracted investment from several big media firms including Disney and Fox.
Bakish, meanwhile, said MTV was a key priority for Viacom. It has been a period of management upheaval at the channel.
The latest changes have seen Michael Klein’s departure announced, after just six months as executive VP, original content, and Nina Diaz being upped to executive VP and head of reality programming.
In other personnel changes at Viacom the media giant said yesterday that Denise Denson is exiting and will be replaced by Tom Gorke who has been upped to executive VP, content distribution. The role involves dealing with US operators and overseeing Viacom’s affiliate deals.