FUSION today announced it will expand The Root's reach into cable television. The two media properties will co-produce television programming from The Root, the number one African American news and commentary site. The content deal is in line with FUSION’s mission to serve a young, diverse audience. The Root will provide insights into their audience, while FUSION will provide production expertise. The Root will make its debut on FUSION's cable network in 2016.
“We see this as a tremendous opportunity for FUSION to provide The Root, a brand known for creating gripping digital content, with a platform to reach a new audience on TV,” said FUSION CEO Isaac Lee. “Bringing their editorial voice to our viewers underscores the importance of serving audiences with content that reflects the interests and passions of a young, multicultural generation.”
The Root reaches an average of 5 million unique users per month, according to comScore, making it the leading online source of news and commentary from an African-American perspective. The Root raises the profile of black voices in mainstream media and engages anyone interested in black culture around the world.
"The FUSION team has produced dynamic content that addresses the issues that matter to America’s diverse population in an informative and entertaining way," said Henry Louis Gates Jr., director of the Hutchins Center for African and African American Research at Harvard University and chairman of The Root. "I am thrilled to be partnering with FUSION to give The Root an opportunity to broaden its reach beyond a highly engaged digital audience and to provide our community with more access to content that is relevant for their advancement.”
Univision, which co-owns FUSION along with Disney/ABC, acquired The Root in May 2015 in an effort to engage a larger segment of America's growing multicultural population. African-Americans amount to 12.3% of the population, and Hispanics and Latino Americans amount to 17.7% of the total population. The current Census also estimates that minorities will fuel all population growth among Adults 18-49 from 2015 through 2025. Moreover, African-American and Hispanic purchasing power combined is more than $2.3 trillion and together Hispanics and African-Americans make up 22% of the electorate.