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Monday, October 28, 2013

Univision And ABC News Launch New TV Channel ‘Fusion’

Workers are shown in the Fusion network's warehouse-turned-news hub known as Newsport, in Doral, Fla, Oct. 14, 2013. The English-language television network is targeting millennial Hispanics. (Wilfredo Lee/AP)

Workers are shown in the Fusion network’s warehouse-turned-news hub known as Newsport, in Doral, Fla, Oct. 14, 2013. The English-language television network is targeting millennial Hispanics. (Wilfredo Lee/AP)

The Spanish-language programming powerhouse Univision is getting into the English-language market. It was a blockbuster summer for the network — its primetime networks dominated the July sweeps ahead of four other major networks.

But its new project is a bit riskier. Fusion, a new English-language network is a collaborative effort with ABC News, and launches tonight in 20 million homes across the country.

The targeted demographic includes millennial Hispanics and the line-up is something of a grab bag: a morning show, nightly news programs, animated puppet news and various sports and entertainment shows.

Isaac Lee, president of news for Univision and CEO of Fusion, joins Here & Now’s Jeremy Hobson.

Interview Highlights: Isaac Lee

On his memo to his staff saying ‘Not everyone will get it and that is the point’

“It is targeted at the very specific psychographic—we want to reach young millennials that consume media in a completely different way. We are going to do current events, news, pop culture and satire, but we are going to do it in a way that they can see the transparency, the honesty, the authenticity and everything that we are going to do is going to have the adequate dose of humor. And that is a big change—not everyone will get it—and I understand that. Sometimes I don’t get it, but we are not doing this for me.”

On whether Fusion is trying to reach all millennials or just Hispanic millennials who speak English

“We are trying to reach millennials. But what we are not going to do is ignore that 20 percent of millennials are of Hispanic descent, that they have a huge influence in culture, in society, in politics, in the economy, and the best way for us to reach Hispanic millennials as a core audience is to give them great content. They do not want to get content that is specifically targeted at them; they just do not want to be disregarded or appear to be invisible.”

On the millennial audience

“What we have to know is that when we are talking to this generation, we are talking to progressive people that understand that the country is changing, that the way that California looks today is the way that the United States is going to look today, and they want to be part of that society and enjoy it.”

Guest


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