Fuse Media, In Post-Bankruptcy Reset, Is Bought By Latino-Led Management Group

Fuse Media

Fuse Media, owner of linear cable networks, digital and streaming properties and live events all aimed at Latino and multicultural millennial audiences, has been acquired by a Latino-led management group.

Miguel “Mike” Roggero, who had been serving as CEO, leads the new management and ownership team. The company, whose investors once included Jennifer Lopez, went through Chapter 11 bankruptcy last year.

Financial terms were not reported in the announcement. In filings last year in U.S. Bankruptcy Court in Delaware, Fuse said it had $201.2 million in assets and $242 million in debt.

Joining Roggero on the management and ownership team are content distribution chief Judi Lopez and head of ad sales Fernando Romero. Marc Leonard, Mark McIntire and Patrick Courtney oversee programming, marketing and digital, respectively. Fuse’s newly configured board of directors includes Tony Nieves, president of MARCA, a creative and marketing agency targeting the Latino community, and Emeli Colletta, the former head of marketing for Univision Interactive.

In 2015, Fuse merged with NUVOtv, which was backed by Jennifer Lopez and her manager, Benny Medina. As with many cable networks, it traveled a circuitous path after launching in 1994 as an all-music joint venture of Canada’s MuchMusic and Rainbow Media, the onetime content arm of Cablevision now known as AMC Networks. When Cablevision took full control in 2003, it maintained a street-level studio in New York across Seventh Avenue from Madison Square Garden. Fuse also earned a footnote in TV history as the first traditional-media home of Billy Eichner’s breakout YouTube show, Billy on the Street.
Fuse in 2018 encountered difficulty with its primary linear network, which was dropped by Comcast and Verizon because of those operators’ complaints about low-rated programming. Today, the channel still reaches tens of millions of pay-TV homes via carriage by Dish, DirecTV, Charter, Altice USA and virtual MVPDs like Sling and FuboTV.
Along with the main channel, the company also has FM (Fuse Music). While the network is not a mass-audience draw, executives have long noted its multicultural appeal and its median age, which they say is more than 15 years below cable’s average. 

“At a time when millions of Americans of all races and ethnicities are calling for more representation and servicing of underserved communities, the Fuse Media management team is taking ownership of its collective destiny,” Ruggero said. “Only through ownership can Latino and other minorities reach our true potential.” Media companies, he added, “must do a better job of realistically reflecting communities of color. Ownership means control and the best way to determine one’s fate. And today, we are taking our destinies, and those of our community, into our own hands.”

This article was printed from https://deadline.com/2020/11/fuse-media-in-post-bankruptcy-reset-is-bought-by-latino-led-management-group-1234618680/