Thursday, May 9, 2019

As Disney writes off its Vice investment, 10 Vice stories to help staffers cope: Publisher’s Brief | Advertising Age

Welcome to the latest edition of Ad Age Publisher’s Brief, our roundup of news from the world of content producers across digital and print. Got a tip? Send it our way. Joining us late? Here's the previous edition.

As Angela Doland notes in Ad Age’s Wake-Up Call this morning, citing a Vox/Recode report, Disney has written off its investment in Vice. Not a good week for Vice CEO Nancy Dubuc (recently profiled by Ad Age’s Jeanine Poggi) and her team.

Recode’s Peter Kafka puts the development in stark terms in two tweets:

Let’s be brutally honest here. Many media people, who spent the last several years scoffing at Vice’s ever-increasing supposed valuation, wondered why it took so long for this day to come. The boundless hubris of Vice co-founder and longtime CEO Shane Smith—who last year kicked himself upstairs to executive chairman when Dubuc came on board—has been a bit hard to take.

Flashback to August 2016, when Smith, in a Financial Times story headlined “Vice chief predicts old media ‘bloodbath,’” surveyed the M&A landscape and declared that “In the next six months everyone is going to try and buy everyone else and we will be sitting there laughing our heads off.”

Yeah, not quite.

Simply put, old media types—and FOMO-addled marketers—bought Vice’s line about its unique, quasi-magical ability to reach millennial media consumers. They bought into the Vice mythology. They bought Smith’s hype.  And now... not so much.

Or as podcaster Liz Dolan puts it succinctly,

Where do we go from here? Well, this morning I happened to spot a story in its “Money” vertical headlined “Why Dating Rich People When You’re Broke Can Be So Awful,” so I decided to dig into the site’s archives to see if there were other Vice posts that might resonate as the Disney-Vice bromance ends. And, yep, I found some:

“People Told Us How Money Ruined Their Friendships”

“Bigger Corporations Are Making You Poorer”

“When You’re Poor, Bad Decisions Are Rational”

“How to Start Saving Money When You’re Broke”

“The Real Reason Why You’re Bad With Money”

“How to Achieve Your Financial Goals—Even When Your Motivation Runs Low”

“Sisa: Cocaine of the Poor”

“Say These Words, Get More Money”

And last but not least...

“Your Baby Is Worthless if It Isn’t a DJ”


Just briefly:
Hard pass: “The White House revoked my press pass. It’s not just me—it’s curtailing access for all journalists,” per The Washington Post’s Dana Milbank.

Platform heeled: “How Bleacher Report is using Instagram Stories for app downloads,” from Digiday’s Tim Peterson.

Enquiring minds want to know: “American Media exec behind Jeff Bezos ‘extortion’ emails quietly sidelined,” per the New York Post’s Keith Kelly.

And finally... 
At the newsstand: Bloomberg Businessweek says that “The company behind Gore-Tex is coming for your eyeballs”—i.e., it’s creating artificial corneas—in its fascinating latest cover story, on sale tomorrow.


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