Fusion TV, which launched at a challenging time in the cable programming sector, has announced a new slate of programming that aims to take advantage of what it calls its “digital DNA” and brands including The Onion, Deadspin, Gizmodo and The Root.
Univision-backed Fusion Media Group says its digital portfolio have drawn an average of 110 monthly unique visitors over the past three months, so the game plan is to more directly leverage that reach. The company said the editorial teams at the various sites will collaborate with TV-side execs. The slate includes Car vs America, a documentary travel series from Jalopnik editors Michael Ballaban and Raphael Orlove; Nov. 19 special The Root 100, an annual list of the most influential African Americans, ages 25 to 45; and seven-part series Sex.Right.Now with Cleo Stiller.
Earlier this year, Fusion launched The A.V. Club, hosted by John Teti, based on the popular cultural offshoot of The Onion. It also launched its first series of new podcasts affiliated with its digital brands. Fusion said it will also continue airing prime-time specials under the banner The Onion Presents, in vein of its recent one weighing in on President Trump’s Congressional address.
Initially a co-venture of Disney and Univision, Fusion TV launched in October 2013 with an emphasis on news and opinion programming aimed at millennials. It hit the airwaves just before the arrival of skinny bundles and stand-alone network-branded OTT services and a rise in the cord-cutting and cord-shaving patterns that continue to vex the TV industry. After Disney pulled out of the venture, Univision rebranded the unit Fusion Media Group and put increasing focus on online assets such as the former Gawker Media properties, The Onion and popular African-American site The Root.
“We have an incredible opportunity to take our digital brands—which have large, dedicated, and engaged audiences online—and extend their reach across more screens,” said Daniel Eilemberg, president of Fusion in a press release. “The editorial teams that drive these sites cover the subjects our audience is passionate about and we’re thrilled to be collaborating with them to produce programming that is compelling and true to their distinct voices.”