David Purdy, a senior executive with Canadian telco Rogers Communications, has been named chief international growth officer at Vice Media, a newly created global role at the fast-growing digital media co.
Purdy was most recently SVP of content and video product management at Rogers. At Rogers since 1997, Purdy worked on cable/satellite side of the business, launching channels like Sportsnet and helping to broker a recent partnership with Vice to launch a linear network (Viceland) in 2016.
Purdy’s new role will see him continue to build the Vice Canada partnership with the Vice mothership in the U.S. and, as expected, expand the model and other partnerships around the world.
“Purdy’s remit is to develop a model for how Vice’s content can best be distributed across all platforms and implement with Vice’s teams and partners globally,” the company stated in a media release.
In Canada alone, that already includes a domestic content studio for linear and digital distribution and a dedicated mobile-video program that delivers exclusive content to Rogers’ Fido customers.
Based in Vice’s Toronto office, Purdy will work between Toronto and New York and report to co-presidents Andrew Creighton and James Schwab, as well as working with Canadian managing director Ryan Archibald.
In November, Rogers and Vice announced it would be rolling out Viceland, following in A&E footstep’s stateside. At the time, Rogers and Vice announced nine “Rogers-commissioned” series would bow on the channel, including doc series Cyberwar and RISE, unscripted entertainment series Abandonment Issues, Dead Set on Life, Payday and Shroom Boom, and pop-culture-focused factual entertainment shows Vice Essentials Canada, Vice Guide to Comedy, and Vice Guide to Film.
Vice has also been busy prepping for further expansion, which include a major push into Europe. Company CEO Shane Smith confirmed in October Vice is in talks with several linear and digital brands (including Netflix, Amazon, ITV and Channel 4) to launch European channels over the next year.
And, earlier this week, Walt Disney Co announced it had increased its financial stake in Vice to $400 million, up from $200 million promised just weeks earlier. Other stakeholders in the youth-focused brand include WPP, Technology Crossover Ventures, A+E Networks and 21st Century Fox.
Story courtesy of Jordan Pinto, Playback, with files from Darah Hansen