Today marks the official launch of Fusion, a new joint cable venture from ABC News and Univision aimed at “a multi-ethnic audience aged 18-34.” Buzzfeed has a lengthy feature on the new network. It’s a pretty interesting read if you can stomach television executives repeatedly using the word “millenials,” which you probably — and justifiably — can’t, but I promise it will be worth it if you stick you with me through one quick blockquote. You can do this. I have faith in you.
“We are non-scripted. We are going to talk about pop culture and current events. Satire will play a big role. We are not going to get into fiction,” [Fusion CEO Isaac Lee] said recently.
“And we also start from a point where understanding the Hispanic audience that is completely under-served and growing in a dramatic way gives us a huge advantage in doing what we have to do. But all the projects that are focusing now on millennials are doing the right thing, because if you understand that Hispanics and millennials are the two most important demographic waves since the baby boom, you will see that the bet is right on,” he said.
So there you go. The gist of the whole thing, basically, is (a) that millenials are reaching the coveted 18-34 demo, but they are consuming television differently — Netflix, HBO Go, etc. — so networks like this one are trying some new things to reach them; and (b) JEEZ BOB, WOULDJA LOOK AT ALL THOSE HISPANICS? LET’S SEE IF WE CAN’T SELL THEM SOME STUFF, TOO.
Now, admittedly, I am being a bit unfair. For all I know this network will end up producing some great content. The problem is that the messenger here is a businessman using marketing-speak to woo potential advertisers, and that always comes off cynical at best and downright sinister at worst. There is some potential good news here, though. The Buzzfeed story goes on to say that Fusion has brought in a bunch of respected journalists and a former Daily Show head writer to produce shows, and they’re creating some sort of puppet talk show that will feature Paul F. Tompkins in some capacity. Those seem like good ideas. Also, there’s this…
Mariana Atencio, a 29-year-old Venezuelan journalist who worked in the investigations and documentary unit for Univision and will be a co-host for The Morning Show said Fusion’s own investigate unit, comprised of four women and led by Peabody Award-winning journalist Mariana Van Zeller, will focus on hard-hitting investigations, allowing her to embrace the less serious stories on The Morning Show. [...]
“We might bring up dinosaur erotica,” she said, referring to recent stories on the genre, which can be found on Amazon. “We will go into the whole genre and read some lines from it.”
See, that’s the problem with network executives. All “millenials and Hispanics” this and “important demographic waves” that, and not a single word about dinosaur porn. It’s like they want their networks to fail.