A+E Networks unveiled plans late Tuesday to rebrand its H2 cable channel as Vice, giving one of the media’s hottest brands its first linear platform.
The rebrand plans were revealed in required regulatory filings to the FTC submitted Tuesday by A+E Networks parent companies Disney and Hearst, as well as Vice.
The new Vice channel will carry the brand’s signature documentary programs, and is slated for an early 2016 launch.
A+E Networks bought a 10 percent stake in Vice last year for $250 million.
The investment by A+E Networks came just as Time Warner and Vice ended negotiations over a possible merger with struggling HLN.
Vice CEO Shane Smith has built the 20-year old media company into the In-Your-Face darling of the content world, tackling subjects ranging from North Korea under Kim Jong Un to what it’s really like in the new “capital” of the Islamic State.
While the company has made a name for itself in the digital space, it also produces an Emmy-winning half-hour show for HBO.
Vice’s programming is also seen as a good fit for H2’s existing male-skewing, younger audience.
Photo: Vice Media Founder Shane Smith.