Less than seven months after music-focused Fuse was relaunched in an effort to lure a broader, diverse young crowd, the top exec behind the move is gone. Fuse Media president Bill Hilary has resigned, Deadline has learned, and senior staff now are reporting to CEO Michael Schwimmer.
In June 2014, Hilary was promoted to president of NuvoTV parent SiTV Media and also given oversight of Fuse, which SiTV had acquired weeks before from MSG for $275 million. He had joined NuvoTV, which catered to Hispanic audiences with primarily English-language programming, the previous year as EVP and head of programming. A year ago, Fuse Media announced that NuvoTV would be folded into Fuse, which was rebranded and relaunched last fall as a network targeting “the multicultural, Millennial audience of trendsetters and influencers that we are calling ‘New Young Americans.’ ”
The network touted ratings gains for the rollout of its new slate during the first week after the launch. But for the recent Q1 of 2016, Fuse found itself at bottom of the cable network rankings, averaging 60,000 viewers in primetime. That was down from the Q4 2015 average of 68,000 viewers.
Hilary is a veteran TV executive who previously served as general manager of Comedy Central and president and CEO of BBC America.