Vice Media Taps Ex-Discovery Exec to Drive International TV Growth

The hire comes as the rapidly mainstreaming youth media brand, run by CEO Shane Smith, continues to grow its global reach.

Vice Media has hired former Discovery Communications exec James Rosenstock to help grow its international TV business.

Rosenstock, most recently executive vp corporate development at Discovery, becomes executive vp international and corporate development at Vice Media. The rapidly mainstreaming youth media brand launched two decades ago as a free magazine in Montreal, and today is based in New York City after striking a series of partnerships with established networks.

Reporting to Vice Media co-president James Schwab, Rosenstock is charged with getting the online youth brand into more multi-platform pacts to distribute its content more widely around the world. While at Discovery, Rosenstock was behind acquisitions like SBS Nordic, Eurosport, Switchover Media and all3Media.

His hire comes as Vice Media follows younger viewers increasingly shifting from legacy media to new digital platforms across foreign markets, as in North America. Rosenstock boards the online youth brand as it builds digital video production hubs around the world, and launches domestic digital channels focused around culture, lifestyle, sports and news verticals.

For its part, Vice Media, which today secures half of its online traffic from international operations, has been inking content deals with HBO, Verizon and Spotify to build out its global news and entertainment presence. The media brand last year also pacted with Canadian cable giant Rogers Communications to produce and distribute Canadian-made news and entertainment programming across domestic and international mobile, web and TV platforms.

Rogers president and CEO Guy Laurence said Vice Media was a prime choice for the media giant to partner with, given its access to younger, on-the-go audiences. "A huge appetite exists in the Canadian market for Vice's unique brand of programming, and through this innovative partnership, we're creating original, exciting and provocative content that caters to the changing needs and viewing habits of our audience in Canada and around the world," he said.

Before Discovery, Rosenstock was a development executive at Sony, and began his career as a media and entertainment sector investment banker, including at Credit Suisse.