The coronavirus outbreak has resulted in the cessation of virtually all organized sports and halted production on everything from the next Avatar and the next Little Mermaid. Another temporary casualty of the pandemic: Vice News Tonight, the daily news show relaunched earlier this month on Vice’s cable TV channel.
In an email sent to staff on Tuesday evening and obtained by The Outline, Jesse Angelo, the media company’s president of global news and entertainment, that Tuesday night’s broadcast would be Vice News Tonight’s final show for the time being. A Vice staffer said that more details were expected to follow on Wednesday.
“What we know for certain is that we’ll be back as early as next week with an on-air news offering that may look a little different, but will reflect our creativity in pulling all of our operational levers around the world to deliver news in this challenging time,” Angelo said, citing the “unprecedented” circumstances in which Vice now finds itself.
Vice News Tonight’s relaunch has been cast as a key part of the media conglomerate’s effort to reboot its business operations, after recent years of missed revenue targets (full disclosure: I used to work at Vice News, and occasionally produced work for Vice News Tonight). Previously broadcast on HBO, Vice News Tonight  was cut from the premium cable channel’s roster last year after a network-wide shift away from news programming. The terms on which Vice has raised money in recent years requires large equity payments to one of its biggest investors, the private equity firm TPG. The company has embarked on an ambitious turnaround campaign: it last year laid off 10 percent of its staff, merged with the women’s interest media company Refinery29, and raised $250 million in debt financing,
In the email to Vice News staff, Angelo said that the company’s other premiere TV news offering — a weekly documentary show on Showtime — was still “on track” for its March 29 premiere. A spokesperson for Vice did not immediately respond to a request for comment.