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Fuse Media has new ownership.
The cable TV and OTT video channel, which targets a young Latino and multicultural audience, has sold a majority stake to its CEO Miguel “Mike” Roggero and his management group. The acquisition means that for the first time in its 16-year history (26-year history if you include its predecessor MuchMusic USA), the company will be led by a Latino ownership and management team.
“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. Literally. Only through ownership can Latino and other minorities reach our true potential.” Roggero said in a statement, “Ownership matters, especially in media, which 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.”
Roggero and his management team bought the stake from Fuse’s existing owners, which include private hedge funds. Those owners will retain a minority interest in the business. Terms of the deal were not disclosed.
Fuse’s leadership team will include Judi Lopez, head of content distribution; Fernando Romero, head of ad sales; and senior members Marc Leonard, Mark McIntire and Patrick Courtney who will oversee programming, marketing and digital, respectively.
“Under our new, Latino ownership and management, Fuse will continue our mission that started over 16 years ago: to serve the Latino audience with authentic representation of all aspects of their lives and culture– from Dreamers and Afro-Latinos, to recent immigrants and families that have been here for generations,” said Lopez in a statement.
MuchMusic USA launched in 1994 as a joint venture between the Dolan family’s Cablevision and Canadian firm CHUM Limited. Cablevision bought out CHUM in 2000, and relaunched the channel as Fuse in 2003, building out a streetside studio across from Madison Square Garden (which the Dolans also own). Fuse was merged into the Madison Square Garden Company in 2010, and in 2014 it sold a controlling stake to the Jennifer Lopez-backed SiTV. The company filed for bankruptcy last year.
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