Nancy Dubuc is leaving her role as A&E Networks President and CEO, and a person familiar with the situation said she is in talks to replace Shane Smith as CEO of Vice Media. Former chairman emeritus and former CEO of A+E Networks Abbe Raven will take her place until the network names a successor.
The insider said A&E’s board of directors was disappointed that Dubuc interviewed to lead Amazon Studios — a role which ultimately went to NBC executive Jennifer Salke — and that Dubuc had pushed for more money to stay at A&E. The insider said A&E opted not to renew her contract as a result.
A Vice executive, speaking on condition of anonymity, told TheWrap that a woman like Dubuc would be a huge asset to Vice: “That’s what Vice needs, an amazing leader.”
Dubuc and Vice Media did not immediately respond to requests for comment from TheWrap.
Vice is trying to improve its reputation after a New York Times story detailed four settlements involving accusations of sexual harassment or defamation. TheWrap reported in January that chief digital officer Mike Germano, one of the men accused, had left the company.
“For nearly 20 years, I have called A+E Networks home and the team has been an extended part of my family. Together, we have had the privilege to build some of the most iconic brands in media,” Dubuc said in a statement.
“Every step of my career, I have had the opportunity to learn and grow from some of the most inspiring and innovative minds at A+E and in both the creative and business community,” she added. “I could not be prouder of what we achieved together.”
Dubuc said that the hardest part of stepping down “will be to leave the people and company I love,” but she added that she is “an entrepreneur, creator, rebel and disruptor at heart,” and “to stay true to my personal mantra, I need my next dare and my next challenge.”
“Nancy and I have worked together for almost 20 years and I have seen the tremendous accomplishments and innovation she has brought to A+E – from its creative content to attracting award-winning talent and the digital and studio businesses she has nurtured,” Raven said. “A+E is a special place with extraordinary and talented people. I look forward to helping the board and leading the talented A+E teams during this transition.”
“In her roughly 20 years at A+E Networks, Nancy played a major role in building the success of A&E, HISTORY and Lifetime, and we thank her for her leadership,” said president and CEO of Hearst Steven R. Swartz and co-chair of Disney Media Networks and president of Disney ABC Television Ben Sherman in a joint statement.
“We are also very grateful to Abbe, a former CEO of the company and one of A+E’s first employees, for agreeing to return on a temporary basis as acting chair,” they added.
Variety first reported Dubuc’s talks with Vice Media.
Dubuc will remain in her role at A&E until April 16.