Multicultural

Fusion Lays Off 30 Staffers

Univision-ABC Venture to Shift Programming Strategy 10/15/2015 9:00 AM Eastern
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In a memo released to employees in mid-September, Fusion CEO Isaac Lee said the elimination of nearly three dozen full-time positions at the network was tied to a shift in programming and operations strategy. The result: Canceled programs and a greater political focus.

While much of the U.S. is awash in the colors of fall foliage, Latino-focused English-language cable network Fusion has entered the fall season by handing pink slips to 30 of its fulltime staffers.

 

In a Sept. 10 staff memo, Fusion CEO Isaac Lee said the network would lay off staffers following an examination of the operations and programming strategy at the Miami-based joint venture between Univision and Disney-ABC Television Group. News of the memo and layoffs first surfaced in published reports in mid-September.

 

With the restructuring, Fusion in 2016 will focus on three main areas of programming: U.S. presidential election coverage, investigative special reports and “topical comedy” programming. New shows will include 12 new enterprise projects and Traffic, an eight-hour miniseries about black market trading around the world.

 

Among the canceled shows are Come Here and Say That, the weekly pop-culture show hosted by Alicia Menendez. Menendez will now serve as chief election and immigration correspondent for weekly news show America With Jorge Ramos.

 

Soccer Gods, a weekday sports show hosted by Simon Carr and Nando Vila, is now available via podcast.

 

Fusion launched in 2013 as a general-interest network super-serving Latino millennials. However, the network has struggled while its digital home — Fusion.net — has seen traffic leap from 5.8 million visitors in July 2015 to 8.3 million in September, Lee said in the internal memo.

 

In a Securities and Exchange Commission report filed by Univision earlier this year, the programmer reported $28 million in revenue and $63 million of expenses for Fusion.

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