Shane Smith (born 28 September 1969) is a Canadian journalist and media executive. He is executive chairman of the international media company Vice Media—originally joining a year after its founding—operating an international network of digital channels, a television production studio, a record label, an in-house creative services agency, a book-publishing house, and a feature film division. Smith served as CEO of Vice from its founding until March 2018. Former
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CEO Nancy Dubuc was named CEO 13 March 2018. In his role as Executive Chairman, "Smith will now be focused on creating content and strategic deals and partnerships to help grow the company."

Early life and education

Shane Smith was born in
Ottawa Ottawa (, ; Canadian Canadians (french: Canadiens) are people identified with the country of Canada. This connection may be residential, legal, historical or cultural. For most Canadians, many (or all) of these connections exist and are c ...

Ontario , Label_map = yes , image_map = Ontario in Canada 2.svg , map_alt = Map showing Ontario's location east/central of Canada. , coordinates = , capital = Toronto , larges ...
, in 1969. He attended the Lisgar Collegiate Institute and later graduated from Carleton University with a degree in English literature and
political science Political science is the scientific study of politics. It is a social science dealing with systems of governance and power, and the analysis of politics, political activities, political thoughts, political behavior, and associated constitutions a ...
. Before Vice, Smith went to university in Ottawa, played in local punk bands, and travelled around
Eastern Europe Eastern Europe is the region of the European continent between Western Europe and Asia. There is no consistent definition of the precise area it covers, partly because the term has a wide range of geopolitical, geographical, ethnic, cultural, and s ...
before moving to
Montreal Montreal ( ; officially Montréal, , Tio'tia:ke in Mohawk language, Mohawk) is the List of the 100 largest municipalities in Canada by population, second-most populous city in Canada and List of towns in Quebec, most populous city in the Provinc ...


Smith, joined the co-founders Suroosh Alvi and childhood friend Gavin McInnes acquired the youth magazine ''Voice of Montreal'' in 1994 and changed its name to ''Vice''. The magazine was originally funded by the Government of Canada as part of a welfare program. After being acquired in 1999 and moving to New York City, Smith and his co-founders bought ''VICE'' back, and moved to Williamsburg, Brooklyn in 2001. Initially publishing print articles based on offbeat alternative culture, ''VICE'' moved to creating news content and social criticism on in 2006. Smith remains an owner of the company, and ''
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'' has described Smith as "a cross between a punk rocker and Fortune 500, ''Fortune 500'' Executive". In 2006, on the advice from the company's creative director Spike Jonze, VICE Media began expanding into digital video. This led to a massive expansion of VICE into new channels, including a partnership with Intel in 2010 for The Creators Project, as well as deals with partners like Viacom (2005–present), Viacom, YouTube, and HBO, led by Smith. In April 2013, VICE started a new series with HBO, "VICE", in which Smith and other VICE correspondents cover news stories from around the globe. The show's second season won an Emmy for Outstanding Informational Series or Special. The show was picked up for two more 14-episode seasons by HBO in May 2014, which aired in 2015 and 2016. Based on the success of the weekly show, in 2015 HBO and VICE announced an expanded deal which included a daily news show on HBO Now premiering in 2016, 32 VICE-produced specials over four years, and an expansion of the existing show from 14 to nearly 30 episodes a year. "VICE" started its 5th season of weekly broadcasts on HBO under the expanded episode deal on Friday, 24 February 2017. In 2015, VICE partnered with several companies, including Verizon, Rogers Communications, Live Nation, Spotify and Snapchat, where VICE was a launch partner for Snapchat's “Discover” platform.


As a journalist Smith has travelled to locations including North Korea, Iran, Afghanistan, Libya, Kashmir, Liberia, Sudan and Greenland, initially for the 2006 online TV series Vice Guide to Travel, ''VICE Guide to Travel''. Smith has continued to serve as a correspondent for VICE, appearing in online content as well as the host of VICE's HBO show and VICE Special Reports. In 2015, Smith accompanied US President Barack Obama as part of the president's first historic visit to a federal prison, interviewing Obama along with five non-violent drug offenders at Federal Correctional Institution, El Reno, El Reno Prison. He also conducted the first public interview with the Eagles of Death Metal following the November 2015 Paris attacks, 2015 terrorist shooting at their show at the Bataclan (theatre), Bataclan in Paris that left 89 dead. On 9 December 2016, HBO broadcast "Vice Special Report: A House Divided", which explores the political dysfunction in the United States during the Obama presidency. The 75-minute program features Smith interviewing influential US politicians including President Obama, former Speaker of the House John Boehner and former House Majority Leader Eric Cantor to understand the development of excessive polarization and gridlock, culminating in the 2016 presidential election. It was nominated for an Emmy award.

Partnerships and investors

In June 2014, it was reported that Time Warner was negotiating to acquire a minority stake in VICE Media; among the company's plans were to give Vice Media control over the programming of HLN—a spin-off network of CNN which had recently struggled in its attempts to re-focus itself as a younger-skewing, social media-oriented news service. However, the deal fell through as the companies were unable to agree on a proper valuation, and VICE Media partnered with A&E Networks for a 10% minority stake in VICE Media for $250 million, keeping VICE Media independent. The following April, it was announced that A&E's channel H2 would be rebranded as VICELAND, a lifestyle channel aimed at millennials. On 29 February 2016, VICE Media officially launched VICELAND with investment support by Disney and A&E. Disney has since increased their stake in VICE Media through A&E with two $200 million investments — the first in November 2015, followed by the second a week later in December 2015 — for a roughly 10% stake to assist in funding programming and growth. Smith, in interviews, has mentioned the possibility of VICE IPO, going public, saying in a 2015 interview: “There hasn’t been a media company like this to go public in 15 years…the markets would love it,” and he told CNBC in 2016, “It’s the best time in history to be a content creator.” On 22 June 2016, VICE Media unveiled a number of international deals that, by the end of 2017, will make its programmes available in over 50 new territories, which will mean its programmes will be available in over 80 territories. In 2015, ''Canadian Business'' placed him on "Canada's Richest People", claiming his net worth to be at $1.27 billion.

Personal life

Smith currently resides in Santa Monica, Santa Monica, California, US with his wife, Tamyka, and his three daughters.


*2017: ''The Bad Batch'' (executive producer) *2016: "Vice Special Report: A House Divided" (host, executive producer) *2016: ''Vice Guide to Film'' (executive producer) *2016: ''Terror'' (executive producer) *2016: ''Abandoned'' (executive producer) *2016: ''Cyberwar'' (executive producer) *2016: ''Dead Set on Life'' (executive producer) *2015: "Contamination Nation" (executive producer) *2015: "The Gangs of El Salvador" (executive producer) *2014: ''Shot: The Mick Rock Documentary'' (executive producer) *2014: Fishing Without Nets (2014 film), ''Fishing Without Nets'' (executive producer) *2013–Present: ''VICE News'' (TV Series documentary) (executive producer) *2013–Present: ''Vice (TV series), VICE'' (writer, correspondent, executive producer) *2011: ''The Vice Guide to Everything, The VICE Guide To Everything'' (correspondent, executive producer) *2009: ''White Lightnin''' (screenplay) *2007: ''Heavy Metal in Baghdad, Heavy Metal In Baghdad'' (executive producer) *2006: Vice Guide to Travel, ''VICE Guide to Travel'' (writer, correspondent, executive producer, director, creator)


Smith's work on VICE's HBO show won him an Emmy award in 2014, as well as a number of environmental awards for his work covering global warming in Greenland, Antarctica and beyond. He has also been honoured with a Frank Stanton Award for Excellence in Communication, an LA Press Club Award, and two Peabody awards for serving as executive producer of ''VICE News'' documentaries "The Islamic State" and "Last Chance High". *2016: Cannes Lions Media Person of the Year *2015: Peabody Award - ''VICE News'' segment, "The Islamic State" *2015: Peabody Award - ''VICE News'' segment, "Last Chance High" *2015: Environmental Media Association Award for Best Reality Television Program - ''VICE'' on HBO, "Our Rising Oceans" *2015: Advertising Age Creativity 50 All Stars *2015: Frank Stanton Award for Excellence in Communication *2015: Los Angeles Press Club Public Service Award In Journalism *2014: Emmy Award for Outstanding Informational Series or Special - ''VICE'' on HBO *2014: VICE Media ranked Fast Company's Number 3 Most Innovative Media Company *2014: Environmental Media Association Award Nomination for Best Reality Television Program - ''VICE'' on HBO, "Greenland is Melting" *2014: Brand Genius Award *2014: Knight Innovation Award *2013: VICE Media named Ad Age's Publishing Company of the Year *2010: VICE Magazine named to Ad Age Magazine A-List (first free publication to be recognized)


External links

Shane Smith
official Facebook page {{DEFAULTSORT:Smith, Shane Canadian magazine founders Canadian magazine publishers (people) Canadian media executives 1969 births Living people Canadian arts journalists Canadian chief executives People from Ottawa Carleton University alumni Canadian people of Irish descent Canadian expatriate journalists in the United States People from Santa Monica, California Vice Media 21st-century Canadian businesspeople 21st-century Canadian journalists 21st-century publishers (people) Lisgar Collegiate Institute