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At NewFront, a Reined-In Vice Still Aims for the Counterculture

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Vice has always been an essential newfront, largely because people wanted to see what CEO Shane Smith would do. This year it was essential for a different reason—to see what the famously raucous event would be like without Smith

This year, following #MeToo, several sexual harassment claims, and a pay gap problem, Vice has a new CEO—Nancy Dubuc—or will when she officially takes the office on May 29. Dubuc was formerly the CEO of A+E Networks. At the 2018 newfront on Friday the signs were obvious from the start that this year would not be like the others. For one thing, the room held chairs instead of a boxing ring.

Speaking to the ad-buying community, Dubuc emphasized how Vice will continue its mission under her watch. She praised the company's creativity and ability to make the world a better place, as well as its ability to help businesses make an impact. While Dubuc stood in front of letters saying "New Frontiers," she didn't make reference to recent changes the company has been through.

Following Dubuc's opening, Vice editors and producers introduced new projects for 2018. A multi-platform series called "She's Running," debuting Monday, will profile female political candidates at all levels, while a special project called "Disorient Express" will stage a murder mystery on a train headed for the Venice Biennale. The show destined to get the most attention is "The Hunt for the Trump Tapes," where Tom Arnold will search for rumored hidden evidence of things the current president has said and done. Vice's anti-red carpet "Humans of the Year Awards" will return in December for a second year.

The company's new president international and global chief revenue officer (so new that it was his fourth day on the job), Dominique Delport spoke about Vice+, a new in-house studio for branded content. The idea is to add value to brands and help brands add value to the culture, Delport said. He also announced that Vice has acquired Brooklyn-based event production company Villain.

A magazine supplied to attendees highlighted other new project: Noisy, the company's music brand, is gaining a studio in Los Angeles where it will broadcast, podcast, and record. Vice is launching a new financial series called "Zero to 100," a series on space exploration called "The New Space Race," and a documentary series on the prison system created with the Innocence Project.

The newfront ended with a performance by a vogueing crew from Vice's series "My House." No fighting this year. Instead, people danced.

Look to StreamingMedia.com and OnlineVideo.net for additional NewFront Week updates.


Nancy Dubuc at the 2018 Vice NewFront

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