After spending 19 years at A&E, where she was a part of award-winning programming like Forged in Fire and Pawn Stars, Nancy Dubuc decided last spring to take on the lead role at Vice Media, a younger company that she said “pushes the boundaries of creativity,” Dubuc told ABC News’ Chief Business, Technology and Economics correspondent, Rebecca Jarvis on an episode of the “No Limits with Rebecca Jarvis” podcast.
“Staying for several more years just felt like something that wasn't going to lead me to chapter three.”
“Part of the reason why I made the transition from A&E to Vice was I wanted a third chapter, and I felt like A&E was very much the middle of the book. Dubuc credits Abbe Raven, her predecessor as chief executive officer (CEO) of A&E, in encouraging her to make the transition and letting her know that she “has the potential to do something bigger,” if she so chooses.
She said she is prepared for the inevitability of missteps, but plans to forge ahead quickly and learn from mistakes of the past.
“CEOs are generalists in nature and there are going to be some things where I'm relying on my leadership team to make the call, and some of them are going to be right or wrong, but as long as we fail fast and move quickly then we'll correct those mistakes,” Dubuc said.
Internships are critical. They're a critical jumping off point I think for any young student regardless of the field.
While Dubuc has now served as CEO at two major media companies, she didn’t always see a leadership position in her future, especially one in journalism. Her first job was an intern at the Daily Free Press newspaper in Boston working in advertising sales. She later worked as an intern at NBC, which she said led to her shift from wanting to pursue a career in advertising to journalism.
“Internships are critical,” she said. “They're a critical jumping off point I think for any young student regardless of the field.”
Dubuc said she hopes to extend the growth of Vice Media into a “global content powerhouse.”
“I think one of the reasons why I'm thrilled about being here is to find some of that young, hungry talent and start taking those risks, where you need to do things differently, because doing things exactly the way they've always been done certainly isn't going to get us to where we need to go.”
Hear more from Nancy Dubuc on episode #117 of the “No Limits with Rebecca Jarvis” podcast.