Vice CEO: Ready to go 'prime time' with HBO partnership

Vice CEO on HBO deal
Vice CEO on HBO deal

Vice Media is well equipped to start covering daily news for Time Warner's HBO, its CEO, Shane Smith, said on Thursday.

The partnership between the two companies was announced earlier in the day. It includes a daily half-hour Vice newscast five days a week for 48 weeks per year.

"We launched Vice News about a year ago online. ... We've been doing hourly news, we've been doing daily news on that platform," Smith said in an interview with "Closing Bell."

"We walked before we could run, and now we're ready to go prime time, if you will, with that daily news coverage."

The content will also be available on HBO Now, which allows users to stream HBO shows online and on Apple TV. While some may be concerned that could lead to cord cutting, where people leave cable TV, Smith believes it's the right move.

"I think you need to go where the demo lives," Smith said.

"I think that HBO is exactly doing the right thing. I think they're moving into digital and OTT [stand-alone over-the-top service] as we're moving into terrestrial and features at the same time. I think they are going to learn a lot from us about our demo, and we're learning a lot from them about what to do on the terrestrial side."

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HBO is just the latest partnership for Vice. It has also paired up with Live Nation to launch an online destination for original music programming, and it recently launched new digital channels with Canada's Rogers. Vice has also partnered with Snapchat to deliver its news.

"We've been sort of going through a building process over the past two years. We've been getting our war chest together financially. We've been hiring," Smith said.

"We've been building our new facilities so that infrastructurally we're there. You can't just sign the deal and say let's go shoot news. You have to actually build out the infrastructure first."

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Smith also touted Vice's different approach to delivering the news, which he said makes Vice stand out from its competitors.

"We come at things from a documentary filmmaking standpoint rather than a straight journalistic standpoint," he said.

"We go to the place, we get in there, we get our cameras there and we press 'record' and in many cases we stay … because a lot of times the story keeps going. Just because the news cycle leaves doesn't mean that the story doesn't continue."

As for whether Vice will go public this year, Smith said, "I don't know."

—CNBC's Julia Boorstin contributed to this report.