Don't Blame J.Lo for Drama at Fuse

These are rough days for Fuse, the embattled music network. It has already shed roughly half of its 200-person staff and canceled Fuse News, a half-hour program launched in January 2013 with celebrity hosts like Jack Osbourne and Alexa Chung. But according to multiple executives familiar with the company's plans, it's the current management, MSG Media, doing the housecleaning - not Nuvo TV (Jennifer Lopez is a part owner and chief creative officer) and parent company SiTV Media, which expects to finalize its $226 million acquisition of Fuse by early July.

There's little question that action was needed. Fuse News often rated at the bottom of Nielsen's cable rankings. "Things were so bad that it got what TV industry people call 'hashmarks,' or no registered audience," says one executive familiar with Fuse. "They wanted to be for music what ESPN was for sports, but it didn't pan out." Another source says the Fuse News programming model and talent contracts prevented content from living online.

Nuvo CEO Michael Schwimmer declined to discuss plans for Fuse until the deal closes, but acknowledged the natural synergy with Nuvo's own music news program The Collective, powered by Vevo, which recently was renewed at the network's upfront presentation.


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