Making good on plans announced earlier this year, HBO and Vice Media confirmed today that the cable network will begin airing a nightly newscast program, called “Vice News Tonight,” beginning on September 26. The show will air on weeknights at 7:30 PM ET/PT — debuting hours before the first scheduled presidential debate between Trump and Clinton. The show will also be made available through HBO’s streaming services, including HBO GO and its over-the-top option, HBO NOW, in addition to HBO On Demand and other affiliate portals.
Plans for the nightly news program were first detailed this March, but the show’s format had not yet been decided at the time. The two companies, however, had already been working together as Vice was producing Emmy award-winning documentaries and specials for the network.
With the nightly news program, the goal is to reach a younger audience who have grown “increasingly skeptical of daily broadcast news,” Vice explains in its announcement.
“The nightly news hasn’t changed its format in 60 years, whereas the way most viewers — particularly younger viewers — consume information has changed dramatically,” noted Josh Tyrangiel, Executive Vice President Content, News, and Vice News Tonight. “We understand that people aren’t going to watch Vice News Tonight out of obligation. We’re going to have to earn people’s time and attention with great reporting and original forms of storytelling, something VICE has excelled at for several years now.”
Tyrangiel was previously the editor of Bloomberg Businessweek and the chief content officer for Bloomberg Media, before joining Vice last fall to run the new nightly program. At the time, he explained the show’s focus as being on “complicated stories, versus hitting people over the head with a hammer,” saying also that he loved business, politics, science and even entertainment news.
Vice doubled its news staff over the summer in preparation for the show’s launch. Recent hires have included Madeleine Haeringer as the Executive Producer; Ryan McCarthy as the Editor-in-Chief of vicenews.com; Evan McMorris-Santoro from BuzzFeed; Nellie Bowles from the Guardian; Ravi Somaiya from The New York Times; and Caroline Modarressy-Tehrani from the Huffington Post. In total, Vice has made approximately 40 hires in recent months, it says.
The choice to air the program slightly later than traditional TV news is a nod to the fact that many people today work longer hours these days than the usual 9 to 5. In addition, by making the show available via streaming services, it gives viewers the option to tune into the news on their own schedule — or even binge their way through a few days’ worth at a time.
In the grand scheme of things, the launch of this nightly news program is also notable as being a milestone in this ongoing shift where streaming services are moving away from hosting only episodic TV shows and movies, to include more timely and time-sensitive programming, like nightly talk shows and news.
Netflix, too, has headed in this direction with the launch of Chelsea Handler’s talk show, which offers up new episodes three days per week. And Netflix has hinted that it plans to enter the news business in the future, as well.
Other streaming services have also expanded beyond only offering on-demand, pre-recorded content. For example, Amazon has experimented with live and interactive programming, with its fashion TV show called Style Code Live, and CBS’ streaming service delivers the ability for the majority of U.S. viewers to watch their local CBS station live — including its news programming. Hulu, meanwhile, announced plans for a live TV streaming service in 2017, which will feature sports, entertainment and news.