A+E Networks Buying 10% Stake in Vice Media

A+E Networks is close to completing the acquisition of a 10% stake in online news producer Vice Media for $250 million, according to a source close to the situation.

Vice had previously been in talks with Time Warner. The A+E deal values Vice Media at $2.5 billion.

For A+E, Vice offers a source of content aimed at young men that would be very compatible with A+E's successful History Channel. Vice and History will be able to exchange programming and engage in cross promotional activity.

Down the road, A+E has cable networks that are not yet fully distributed, including H2 and LMN that Vice could play a larger role in programming and branding.

The A+E deal with Vice was first reported by The Hollywood Reporter. A+E Networks had no comment.

Earlier Friday, the New York Times reported that Time Warner's talks to acquire a stake in Vice Media ended without an agreement.

A source confirmed that the talks broke down, but no reason was given. The deal being discussed would have had Vice program Time Warner's HLN cable channel, which has been getting a makeover to appeal more to social-media active millennial viewers.

Vice produces a show for Time Warner's HBO. 21st Century Fox already owns a 5% stake in Vice.

Time Warner had no comment.

Jon Lafayette

Jon has been business editor of Broadcasting+Cable since 2010. He focuses on revenue-generating activities, including advertising and distribution, as well as executive intrigue and merger and acquisition activity. Just about any story is fair game, if a dollar sign can make its way into the article. Before B+C, Jon covered the industry for TVWeek, Cable World, Electronic Media, Advertising Age and The New York Post. A native New Yorker, Jon is hiding in plain sight in the suburbs of Chicago.