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.
2ND UPDATE, 5:07 PM: Well, Univision got what it wanted from President Obama…sort of. Almost a week after the network and its marquee anchor Jorge Ramos took President Obama to task for omitting Spanish-language news divisions from his Syria whistle-stop network news tour, rival Telemundo said today it has landed an exclusive interview with Obama. The NBCUniversal-owned network is claiming its Obama’s “first interview to a Spanish-language television network since asking for congressional approval for a military strike against the Assad regime in Syria”. Excerpts of the sit-down, to be conducted by news anchor José Díaz-Balart, will be broadcast on Noticiero Telemundo on Tuesday at 6:30 PM ET. The interview, expected to focus on immigration reform, Obamacare, the latest on the Syrian crisis and other subjects of interest to the Hispanic community, will air in its entirety on Enfoque Con José Díaz-Balart on Sunday at noon.
UPDATE, SEPTEMBER 9 PM: Now the network itself has chimed in. Earlier today Univision’s Jorge Ramos posted some displeased tweets over not being one of the anchors interviewing Barack Obama about possible military action in Syria. Calling the lack of an interview “disappointing,” Univision has expanded on that view with the statement below.
What happens in Syria is important to Univision News’ audience. As the fastest growing demographic in the U.S. the decisions that are made by our government on issues like this one have a direct impact in their lives and their future. The U.S. Hispanic community has the right to be well informed and receive all the news and information they need from the news source they trust the most. It’s disappointing to see the lack of interest to reach our audience on this important issue.