Vice Magazine, 'The Heart of Vice,' Will Relaunch in March

Will Not Publish in January and February

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Credit: Courtesy Vice

Vice Media, the sprawling, global media behemoth that was most recently valued at over $4 billion, began in 1994 as the punk magazine Voice of Montreal.

It's a detail that's mentioned in almost every profile of Vice Media, and it illustrates just how far the company has come, from a small print magazine to a digital video powerhouse that's getting its own linear TV channel in the U.S., Viceland, next year.

But Vice magazine -- it was renamed in 1996 -- is still around, and it's getting an extensive redesign over the next few months.

The magazine, edited since 2014 by Ellis Jones, will go dark for January and February before relaunching in March. (Advertising commitments will not be affected, a company spokesman said.)

The retooled magazine will see "a big increase in cultural coverage as well as new voices and columnists examining sex, finance, and much more," Ms. Jones wrote in an editor's letter.

Going forward, the magazine will also better incorporate writers from Vice's 11 digital channels, which run the gamut from food (Munchies) to martial arts (Fightland).

Aesthetically, Ms. Jones wrote that the magazine will have a new "look and feel" come March.

Ms. Jones' appointment last year as Vice's first female editor brought a renewed focus on the magazine, which has a worldwide circulation of 1.1 million, according to the company. Its circulation has a heavy emphasis on free distribution.

Under her watch, the magazine has added print staff and brought on new writers, and has also concentrated entire editions on topics like the environment and prisons.

Asked about the magazine's profitability, the spokesman declined to comment.

Ms. Jones, in an interview in February, said company CEO Shane Smith "still loves and cares about the mag," which suggests that it isn't going anywhere, even as Vice turns its attention to getting on TV around the world.

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