The New York Times‘ Jonathan Mahler scoops that Time Warner has ended negotiations with Vice Media. The talks, which have been going on for months, included a plan to spin off Time Warner’s HLN network, and refashion it into a Vice channel. The Brooklyn-based media company includes a magazine, book publishing, a massive online presence, and gritty, global documentaries which are carried on Time Warner’s HBO.
The conversations collapsed after the two companies were unable to agree on a valuation of Vice. Last year, 21st Century Fox paid $70 million for a 5 percent stake in the company, valuing the company at more than $1 billion.
In June, Vice co-founder and CEO Shane Smith told the New York Times having a TV network was “the next step in our evolution. Our mobile and online stuff is going to grow exponentially, but we want a three-legged stool, and the third leg is TV.”
A week ago, the Wall Street Journal reported Time Warner had also been in talks with Glenn Beck’s company about re-branding HLN into TheBlaze TV. But those talks also came to nothing. Earlier this year, under the new leadership of Albie Hecht, HLN intended to become “the home for the social media generation.” Primetime programs include those hosted by Nancy Grace, Jane Velez-Mitchell, and Dr. Drew Pinsky. Late nights and weekends are made up of true crime stories.
> More: The Financial Times reports Vice is finalizing a deal to sell a 10% stake to A&E Networks for $250 million. A&E is jointly owned by Walt Disney and Hearst. The sale could be announced as early as next week, FT reports.