Fuse Media, the multi-platform company backed by Jennifer Lopez that targets Latino and multicultural millennials and GenZ audiences, said it will emerge from Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection on schedule in the coming weeks.
Along with that update on the bankruptcy filing last April, the company said it has secured a distribution agreement with T-Mobile that will see its Fuse and FM (Fuse Music) linear networks carried on streaming hub TVision Home. The networks had been dropped by Verizon Fios and Comcast on Jan. 1, which led to a missed interest payment of $12.5 million and a host of related struggles.
Longtime CEO Michael Schwimmer announced his departure from the company in April, just prior to the bankruptcy filing.
The goal of the pre-packaged bankruptcy was to reduce Fuse’s secured debt by about $200 million as well as lowering related interest expenses. A judge in Delaware bankruptcy court approved the company’s plan, clearing the way for Fuse to exit Chapter 11.
Despite the corporate and financial drama, Fuse has continued to operate, touting an audience that is 15 years younger than the cable TV average. It linked linear carriage and VOD deals with AT&T and DirecTV.
“I would first like to thank our employees for their hard work and dedication during this challenging period,” interim CEO Miguel “Mike” Roggero said in a press release. “We are also thankful for the unwavering financial support of our bondholders. Looking forward, Fuse will continue to provide content that entertains and inspires young and underserved Latino and multicultural audiences, and to collaborate with creative, brand and distribution partners who share this goal.”
Roggero said plans call for the company to double its investment in original programming in 2020 compared with current levels. Fuse renewed more shows than in any year since its 2015 re-launch, bringing back T-Pain’s School of Business, Complex x Fuse and Big Boy’s Neighborhood. It also recently rolled out its first adult animated original series, Sugar and Toys.