Time Warner was widely reported during the summer to be pursuing the acquisition of a major stake in the content company Vice Media, which would have taken over the programming of Time Warner’s ailing HLN network. That deal fell apart, but now TVNewser reports that Vice founder and CEO Shane Smith may be looking to acquire HLN instead.
In a conversation with Jeff Jarvis at the Paley Media Council this week, Smith said, “There’s a lot of distressed media assets out there, some of them in TV, that we can go after.”
HLN is one such asset, he said, according to TVNewser. Said Smith: “It’s a great opportunity because they’re doing a very bad job and we believe we could do a better job.”
Vice is flush after a $500 million infusion from Silicon Valley’s Technology Crossover Ventures and A+E Networks, TVNewser notes. And HLN, after announcing that it planned to become “the first TV network for the social media generation,” has mostly drifted, laying off staff and canceling shows.
Back in August, Time Warner also reportedly talked with Glenn Beck’s The Blaze about a possible joint venture that would essentially replace HLN programming with Beck’s content.
“Perhaps not surprisingly, talk of turning HLN into a hip, buzzy destination for millennials faded fast, with most discussion in the fall centered around layoffs and cancelations,” TVNewser notes.