Every time mainstream media says we are not doing it correctly, we say "Sure. We are doing it our own way." We are also not saying we are the best in the world. We are out there, we are making content, and doing stories that young people resonate with. If that doesn't satisfy the old guard, they can go to hell quite frankly.
What are you doing for an encore?
What we learned with the Rodman trip is let your content speak for yourself.
We have a big one that I can't talk about. Look, Kim Jong-un is an absurdist character, from an absurdist country, and we went in for an absurd story. We know that. This is sort of similar, but I think it has much more geopolitical resonance.
More broadly, what's next for Vice?
Look, it's a great time to be a content provider. We are extremely happy and extremely lucky to be in the right pace at the right time. What I try to preach is that online is a better medium than TV. You can do a lot more with it. But the content that we make, in a lot of cases, doesn't stack up against it. We have to challenge ourselves to be better. The content creators for the digital world have to be better than TV.
What's your advice for traditional media execs who are trying to migrate online?
You can't retrofit it. If there's a bunch of old dudes in a boardroom that go, "OK. Let's start making video," what they try to do is hire pedigreed people. What you get is a shittier version of TV. You really have to rip out the pipes. You have to make things in a different way, hire people who have never worked in TV or commercials or film, get people straight out of schools, get people who don't know what they're doing, form your own school and train these kids. The reason I'm telling you all this, the reason I'm giving away my secrets, is that's it's nearly impossible to do.
If you think you're going to raise $50 million or $100 million and go out and hire people who've done it before to do TV online, you're going to fail.