Interviews today with President Obama and controversial Arizona sheriff Joe Arpaio officially launched Fusion with a special edition of the new America With Jorge Ramos. Actually, Fusion kicked off three minutes beforehand at 3:57 PM PT with a hip swiveling music video featuring actors playing CEO Isaac Lee and other senior executives plus various real hosts from the network. Amidst the dancing around the office and cameos by Barbara Walters and Diane Sawyer, the Fusion employees lyrically proclaimed themselves “the corporate godchild of ABC-Disney and Univision” that will “offer world class reporting with a pop culture theme.” Still, the dance video aside, ABC and Univision’s Fusion was very traditional in its first hour for a joint venture aimed at young English-speaking Hispanics and millennials. The dance routine was followed with a more sober intro by Ramos promising to “challenge the people that make the news” and asking “Why is the government spying on us and foreign leaders?” Then Fusion went straight into a traditional cable news show with interviews, produced segments, talking heads and a taped interview with Texas Senator Ted Cruz.
Where do you set a sports talk show if you’re launching a pop-culture/satire network targeting young viewers? In a tricked-out suburban basement, silly! Fusion, the new ABC/Univision joint venture debuting Monday, announced this morning its new “outrageous” half hour of sport-talk mayhem, Sports Talkers, which the network promises, takes sports commentary to the next level. Set in what Fusion described as “tricked out suburban basement”, where three members of comedy troupe Harvard Sailing Team – Rebecca Delgado Smith, Adam Lustick, and Billy Scafuri – will combine elements of talk radio, late-night comedy, and improv performance to create what Fusion, continuing the Parents’ Basement motif, called a “a moth-balled quilt” that begins with sports and ends with “Talkers.” “This show will do for talking about sports what talking about sports has done for sports,” said David Javerbaum, the former EP and head writer for The Daily Show With Jon Stewart who is overseeing content for Fusion’s nightly block of satire programming.
Showrunner is Geoff Haggerty, repped by Principato-Young Entertainment. Smith is repped by Principato-Young Entertainment, Paradigm, and attorney Melissa Fox. Lustick is repped by Black Box Management and Gersh. Scafuri is repped by Gersh. Showrunner Geoff Haggerty is repped by Principato-Young Entertainment.
Good Morning America will lend its ratings muscle to the October 28 launch of Fusion network, the news/pop culture/satire network from ABC and Univision. That morning, GMA’s Lara Spencer and Sam Champion will travel to Miami to appear live from the set of Univision’s morning infotainment show, Despierta America, joined by on-air talent from Fusion’s new morning infotainment program The Morning Show. Simultaneously, Karla Martinez and Raul Gonzalez of Despierta America will join the GMA team live in Times Square.
Fusion, ABC and Univision’s new network aimed at young English-speaking Hispanics in the U.S., has named veteran journalist Isaac Lee Chief Executive Officer effective immediately. In his new role, Lee will be responsible for all programming and business aspects of Fusion as he continues to serve as President of Univision News. Before joining Univision, Lee founded and served as editor-in-chief of English-language magazine PODER. Fusion launches nationwide on October 28; its digital platform will launch October 21.
Fusion, ABC and Univision’s new network aimed at young English-speaking Hispanics in the U.S., has appointed David Ford as VP Corporate Communications. He joins Fusion from the ABC News PR team and will oversee all external and internal communications for Fusion based at its Miami headquarters starting in mid-September. Most recently, Ford oversaw media relations for ABC’s World News With Diane Sawyer, as well as the network’s Washington Bureau and ABC’s investigative team led by Brian Ross.
UPDATE: Fusion Launching In October, Network Unveils Programming & Hires Former ‘Daily Show’ EP David Javerbaum
UPDATED: The upcoming news and lifestyle network for Latinos and millennials today announced much of its primetime schedule as well as that former Daily Show executive producer and head writer David Javerbaum has come on board. Fusion, which is being launched on October 28 by ABC and Univision, said that Javerbaum will serve as executive producer, leading primetime comedy development. He’ll be based in LA and oversee content for all of Fusion’s West Coast programs, including the nightly show anchored by Leon Krauze and new programming concepts he’ll help develop. “I feel incredibly lucky to be getting in on the ground floor at Fusion,” the multiple Emmy winner said in a statment. “I’ve never felt prouder to be a fifth-generation Hispanic-American.” In the immediate future Javerbaum will be producing an as yet-untitled half-hour nightly satire show with The Jim Henson Company and Robot Chicken producers ShadowMachine
Fusion, ABC and Univision’s new network aimed at young English-speaking Hispanics in the U.S., is continuing to bolster its staff with the appointment of Mark Lima as its Vice President of News. Fusion’s interim President Beau Ferrari made the announcement today. “Mark has a keen eye for stories that matter, knows how to create compelling television, and is a tested expert in breaking news situations. He is an experienced network producer who has led large teams to award-winning success, and we’re very fortunate he’s joining Fusion”, said Ferrari. Lima, an Emmy and Peabody-winning ABC News veteran, was most recently part of the team at Nightline responsible for developing stories and leading digital and social media integration. Lima previously spent four years in Los Angeles as deputy bureau chief for ABC News, managing day-to-day coverage of news assignments for the western bureaus. Before that, Lima was director of sports and special projects for ABC’s affiliate news service NewsOne where he covered the 2002 and 2004 Olympic Games and produced live operations for major news events including the John F. Kennedy Jr plane crash.
ABC and Univision‘s new network aimed at young English-speaking Hispanics in the U.S. has tapped Anhelo Reyes as its first VP Marketing. Based in Miami, she will oversee branding, marketing and promotion at Fusion, which is scheduled to launch in the second half of 2013. Reyes most recently as VP Strategic Property Planning and Marketing at Nickelodeon, where she worked on campaigns for such series as SpongeBob SquarePants and Teenage Ninja Mutant Turtles. She also has worked at the Recording Academy and the National Association of Hispanic Publications.