ON A SUNNY WINTER’S DAY in Vice Media’s NYC offices, CEO and founder Shane Smith, 45, is debating with longtime collaborator and film editor Jonah Kaplan (with whom he shares an Emmy for Vice’s HBO news magazine series) over the wording of a voice-over segment for a special report for HBO. With an impatient shrug of his shoulders, Smith finally says, “Just try it. Anytime there’s a suggestion, just try it.”
This humble directive might help explain Vice’s breathless pace of expansion: Launched in 1994 as a Montreal punk magazine, the company has grown to 1,500 employees and operates in 36 countries. In addition to its print holdings, Vice now includes a thriving digital video operation and creative serv...
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