Vice Media targets more mainstream TV deals after Fremantle tie-up

LONDON, April 9 Wed Apr 9, 2014 5:57am EDT

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LONDON, April 9 (Reuters) - Vice Media, the New York-based group whose edgy reportage has proved a hit with young people, plans to sell more content to mainstream TV groups after signing such a deal with "American Idol" producer Fremantle Media, it said on Wednesday.

Company founder and boss Shane Smith said its new Munchies online food channel, launched by Fremantle and Vice at the MIPTV television festival in Cannes, France, was typical of the kind of deals it was looking to do to get wider distribution.

Vice Media, whose backers include Martin Sorrell's WPP and Rupert Murdoch's 21st-Century Fox, started as a punk magazine in Montreal in 1994. It has recently created a buzz with high-profile stunts such as taking basketball player Dennis Rodman to North Korea.

"We are selling more and more TV to more and more countries, but also more and more franchises," he said in a telephone interview, adding that producers from around the world were lining up to speak to him.

Smith said the format of the journalism was shifting to make it more appropriate for other broadcasters, but the off-beat subject matter was not, with reports coming on Iran and the militarization of the Artic. (Reporting by Paul Sandle; Editing by Mark Potter)

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