Fuse Media Executives Acquire Company Following 2019 Bankruptcy
(Bloomberg) -- A group of executives at Fuse Media LLC has purchased a controlling stake in the company, looking to bring new life to a long-struggling entertainment business aimed at Latino audiences.
The acquisition comes about a year and a half after the company, best known for its Latino-focused cable TV channel, emerged from bankruptcy. The executives say that being Hispanic distinguishes them from the previous owners and will allow them to better serve their target customers. Terms weren’t disclosed.
“The Fuse Media management team is taking ownership of its collective destiny,” the company’s chief executive officer, Miguel Roggero, said in a statement. “Literally. Only through ownership can Latino and other minorities reach our true potential.”
The ownership change follows a rocky history. In 2015, the company tried to sell itself as competition from streaming services intensified. It filed for Chapter 11 protection in April 2019, as part of a pre-negotiated plan after cable providers stopped offering Fuse to their customers and the company lost more than 15 million subscribers. It emerged from bankruptcy about three months later.
Fuse has changed hands several times since the channel was founded in 1994. At one point, it was backed by actress and singer Jennifer Lopez -- after a company that she had a strategic partnership with, SiTV Media Inc., purchased Fuse from Madison Square Garden Co. Lopez hasn’t been directly involved with Fuse for years, and the management group purchased their stake from a group of hedge funds.
Roggero leads the investment group that now owns the controlling stake in the media company. Other members of the coalition include Judi Lopez, Fuse’s head of content distribution; Fernando Romero, head of ad sales; programming executive Marc Leonard; marketing chief Mark McIntire; and Patrick Courtney, who oversees digital operations.
In addition to operating the cable channel, Fuse provides video-on-demand channels, such as Fuse TV and Fuse Music, that target millennial and Gen Z viewers. Its shows include “T-Pain’s School of Business,” “Model Latina” and “Struggle Gourmet.”
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