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Fuse Media in management buyout

Fuse Media has been taken over by a Latinx-led management group headed by the US company’s CEO, Miguel ‘Mike’ Roggero.

Miguel ‘Mike’ Roggero

The group has acquired a controlling interest in Fuse Media, the English-language entertainment brand that serves Latinx, multicultural millennial and Gen Z audiences.

Financial details of the deal were not disclosed. It comes after a turbulent few years for the company, which filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection in April 2019 after its CEO resigned and US cable giants Comcast and Verizon dropped the Fuse channel in December 2018.

It had US$242m in debts but emerged from Chapter 11 in June last year having restructured its finances and entered into new distribution agreements.

The Fuse network originally launched in 1994 as MuchMusic USA and relaunched as Fuse in 2003, before being acquired by Jennifer Lopez’s NuvoTV in 2014 and becoming Fuse Media.

Judi Lopez

The company’s platforms currently include the Fuse and FM (Fuse Music) linear and video-on-demand channels, Fuse Digital, OTT channels and Fuse-branded apps and live events.

Roggero will lead the senior management group, joined by his fellow management team members Judi Lopez, head of content distribution; Fernando Romero, head of ad sales; and senior members Marc Leonard, Mark McIntire and Patrick Courtney, who oversee programming, marketing and digital, respectively.

In addition, Roggero has assembled a board of directors that includes Latinx business leaders such as Tony Nieves, president of creative and marketing agency MARCA, and marketing and digital media expert Emeli Colletta, the former head of marketing for Univision Interactive.

Fernando Romero

Roggero said: “At a time when millions of Americans of all races and ethnicities are calling for more representation and servicing of underserved communities, the Fuse Media management team is taking ownership of its collective destiny. Literally. Only through ownership can Latino and other minorities reach our true potential.

“Ownership matters, especially in media, which must do a better job of realistically reflecting communities of colour. Ownership means control and the best way to determine one’s fate. And today, we are taking our destinies, and those of our community, into our own hands.

“The Latino community is one of the largest in America and still one of the most underrepresented in media. But with its enormous involvement in our economy, it continues to present exceptional expansion potential for Fuse Media.”

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