Vice Founder Shane Smith Named Cannes Lions Media Person of the Year

The founder and CEO of Vice, Shane Smith, has been named as the Cannes Lions 2016 Media Person of the Year.

“Shane is an influential figure in today’s media landscape,” said Philip Thomas, CEO, Lions Festivals.”Not only is he responsible for taking Vice, which started life as a punk magazine, and expanding it to become the world’s leading global youth media company, but also, beyond this, he’s a critically acclaimed journalist.”

Introduced in 1999, the Media Person of the Year Award exists to recognise innovators who have shaped the future of media.


One of the industry’s most respected visionaries, Smith has transformed Vice from a print magazine into an international multimedia brand that operates a network of critically-acclaimed digital channels, linear television networks, a mobile content studio, a feature film division, and an in-house creative services agency.

Smith is also a critically acclaimed journalist and the host and executive producer for the Emmy Award-winning news series, Vice, on HBO. Smith has reported from the world’s most isolated and difficult places, including North Korea, Iran, Afghanistan, Kashmir, Liberia and Greenland.

“When I was a young man one of my great joys was to go to my local repertory theater and watch the feature film of the best of Cannes Lions awards,” said Smith.

“To see the funny, salacious and over the top commercials from around the world offered a window into a different and tantalizing dimension to a teenager living in snowy Canada. As such, to accept the award for Cannes Lions Media Person of the Year is simultaneously humbling and immensely pleasurable because although you don’t get into the business to win hardware, it sure makes life a lot more fun when you do.”


The Cannes Lions International Festival of Creativity will honour Smith with his award during the Awards Ceremony on June 22, 2016.


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