Vice CEO Shane Smith would rather give a '23-year-old kid straight out of school' a TV show than someone experienced

Shane smithYouTube/The&PartnershipVice cofounder and CEO Shane Smith.

Vice’s CEO Shane Smith would rather give control of his TV shows to inexperienced college graduates than established TV directors.

The mistake most media companies make when they start producing online video is to hire “someone with pedigree from TV,” according to Smith who added that the company will have “already lost” because the videos will end up looking “like TV but worse.”

In an interview with Marketing Week, Smith said: “We go to the tech colleges and get the best shooters and the best cutters. There could be a 23-year-old kid straight out of school and [we say to them] ‘ok, now you’re running a TV show’.”

The 46-year-old journalist and entrepreneur said hiring experienced TV people is expensive because they will want to bring producers and camera people with them.

His advice to other media CEOs jealous of his media empire, which is reportedly worth more than $4 billion: “You have to hire people that aren’t corrupted by that world.”

The second reason Smith gave for wanting to hire young people is because of Vice’s young audience.

“If you want to be successful with millennials, the [content makers] also have to be millennials because it’s their own language,” Smith said.

Vice’s new TV channel VICELAND has already launched in the US and will start broadcasting in Europe from September.

Read the full interview between Smith and Unilever’s marketing boss Keith Weed over on Marketing Week.

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