Time Warner is reported to be in talks to buy a large stake in VICE, the edgy digital media firm that began its life in Montreal in 1994.

SkyNews and Variety are reporting that Time Warner, which spun off its Time Inc. magazine unit on stock markets yesterday, wants to buy half of VICE for about $1 billion.

The deal would provide VICE, a multi-platform media network that screens primarily over the internet, with access to a traditional television network.

VICE already makes a documentary show for Time Warner’s HBO network.

Neither Time Warner nor VICE would confirm the companies were in talks.

One potential stumbling block is that 21st Century Fox bought a  5 per cent stake in VICE in 2013 for $70 million.

VICE Media is valued for its unusual reporting from around the world, which attracts a large, young audience, including stunts such as sending basketball player Dennis Rodman to North Korea last year.

VICE, now based in Brooklyn, N.Y. operates websites and video channels on YouTube and its own sites, and also produces documentary films, music videos and books.