Two months after departing as the editor of E! News and E! Online, Bruce Perlmutter has started as senior vp programming and production for Sean “Diddy” Combs’ soon-to-launch cable music network, Revolt TV, which will target urban millennial viewers.
When it launches Oct. 23, Revolt TV will be the first music network created from the ground up to integrate with social media and digital platforms, Perlmutter tells The Hollywood Reporter.
“The vision is social by design,” he says. “It’s a destination for fans and artists. When you put them together, it is just an incredible, powerful concept. There has not been a network to speak of that focuses on music. MTV doesn’t do it any more. Fuse, I guess you can call that a music network. But this really is the first one to come along in a long time, really focused on the fans and the artists of music.”
That vision, says Perlmutter, comes from its mogul owner, Combs.
“He’s very much involved,” says Perlmutter. “It’s his brand, his vision and money. He’s very immersed in every component, from planning to execution.”
Although launching a cable network can be extraordinarily expensive, where $100 million can be just the ante in the game, Revolt TV has a couple of cost-cutting advantages.
First, it was born, along with a few other fledgling networks, out of a competition by Comcast, the country’s largest cable operator, who would carry the networks and, in most cases, lay down an investment. As part of an agreement that allowed it to acquire NBCUniversal, Comcast promised to encourage minority participation in cable TV.
Second, while competitors pay for reality and scripted shows, Perlmutter expects Revolt TV will get much of its programming at little or no cost. The days when MTV aired major-label music videos for free are over, but the music videos have not gone away.
“The model also works because it’s more than just the labels,” says Perlmutter. “It’s all the independent artists who are doing things on their own without a label. So there’s much more to choose from now.”
Perlmutter will remain in Los Angeles, where he also teaches classes for Syracuse University, but says that Revolt TV will also have a strong presence in New York, where Combs lives.