10:53am PT by Rick Porter
Fuse Media Chief Michael Schwimmer Resigns
There's a change at the top of Fuse Media: President and CEO Michael Schwimmer is departing the company he helped build.
Schwimmer on Monday announced his resignation, effective Friday. Fuse Media COO and CFO Mike Roggero has been named interim CEO.
"I have spent nearly 16 years working closely with this incredible company, its board, executive team and some of the most talented people in media and entertainment, and am very proud of what we have built together," said Schwimmer. "I am excited about what's next, both for myself and with Fuse, and glad to know that the company is in the excellent hands of a strong executive team under the leadership of Mike Roggero — someone who has played a large role in setting Fuse up for future success."
Schwimmer joined the company's first board of directors in 2003 after overseeing Dish Network's initial investment in SiTV Media; cable channel SiTV launched the following year as the first English-language entertainment network aimed at the Latinx community.
SiTV rebranded as NUVOtv in 2011, and in 2012 it struck a deal with Jennifer Lopez and her Nuyorican Productions, in which Lopez begame a part owner. Fuse Media was formed in 2014 after the company's acquisition of Fuse (which began life as Much Music USA before rebranding in 2003) from the Madison Square Garden Company.
"Michael's grit and determination over the years — often in the face of long odds — have been a key ingredient to our culture and our success," said Roggero. "We'll greatly miss his steady hand and sense of humor."
Fuse is currently the country's largest privately held independent cable network, home to shows including T-Pain's School of Business, Big Boy's Neighborhood, Future History and the award-winning Fuse Docs franchise. The company suffered a blow at the end of 2018 when Verizon Fios and Comcast dropped Fuse from its cable lineup after a decade of carriage.
Fuse has one of the youngest and most multicultural audiences on cable, with much of its growth in the previous year coming on the digital and social side of the business. Roggero has helped develop and expand the company's multiplatform business beyond linear networks Fuse and FM (Fuse Music) onto OTT platforms.