Vice Gets Corporate

Poaches new revenue chief from MTV

In Vice Media’s continuing effort to transform itself from a fringe youth magazine into what its founders hope will be a global media empire, the company is now poaching from among the ranks of traditional conglomerates by hiring Alex Angeledes, previously a vice president and general sales manager in charge of MTV’s Music and Youth Group on the West Coast, to serve as its chief revenue officer.

“I’d been looking at Vice for some time,” Angeledes told Adweek. “One of the things that drew me was the fact that their mission is to create the biggest digital youth media operation in the world.” Angeledes added that “Vice is set up differently from MTV . . . There are a number of opportunities to drive revenue into this company” beyond just typical ad sales.

In addition to overseeing traditional display and video ad sale operations, Angeledes says that he is also charged with helping build content distribution arrangements with other media outlets, and developing content and event sponsorships with brands.

Angeledes says he was first introduced to Vice executives by former Viacom chief Tom Freston, who is an investor in Vice (along with WPP and merchant bank The Raine Groupe) and a board member.

“[Alex] was a powerhouse at MTV," Freston said in an email. "He knows this market cold, and will ensure Vice continues to flourish on the revenue front.”

In recent months, Vice has been working hard to de-emphasize its old libertine reputation in favor of a somewhat more buttoned-up image as it courts a wider audience—and, more importantly, potential partners and advertisers. Two weeks ago, Vice held its first upfront to showcase a new website that places a particularly strong emphasis on video news content. Angeledes says that video will be a core focus of his business efforts. “Vice is no longer [just] a magazine” he said. “Video is the bread and butter of this company.”

Angeledes’ appointment comes on the heels of the announcement in mid-September that Vice will be partnering with HBO to produce a newsmagazine program called Vice TV, which Vice executives have described as a “60 Minutes for young people.” The program will be executive produced by Bill Maher and will premiere in prime time next fall.

Asked how Angeledes’ background at MTV played a role in his hiring, Andrew Creighton, Vice’s president, said, “MTV built the biggest youth media network in the world—which is ultimately what we want to do.”