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Time Warner considers buying a stake in bad boy media

A general view of atmosphere at Time Inc. marks spinoff from Time Warner at New York Stock Exchange

On Monday, Time Warner spun off its namesake, Time magazine. Now, it is reportedly considering buying a stake in Vice Media.

It is safe to say Time’s founder, Henry Luce, wouldn’t have known what to make of Vice. First, it was an outsider magazine, published in Montreal; today, it is a global news empire.

“It is bad-boy media,” says Rebecca Lieb, an analyst with The Altimeter Group. “It is sex and drugs, and rock and roll, and going to far-flung corners of the earth in wildly irreverent ways.”

Surprise! That’s pretty popular.

“They have really hit the sweet spot for reaching perhaps the most elusive audience in media – the 18-35-year-old male audience,” Lieb says.

According to Tony Wible, a senior analyst with Janney Capital Markets, Vice has embraced new media, and it is making money.

“I think Time Warner is focused around TV and movies, and I think that anything that may complement that they may look at,” he says.

If this deal goes forward, analysts say, it will be interesting to see what effect, if any, being owned by a big media giant could have on Vice.

About the author

David Gura is a reporter for Marketplace, based in the Washington, D.C. bureau.

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