‘Dude, What’s Wrong With You?’: How Fusion Journalists Convinced CEO to Change Course

By Mark Joyella 

Fusion_Newsroom2The Fusion network you can watch today is not quite what CEO Isaac Lee originally planned. “In my mind, I was going to produce a cable network for me, and I was thrilled” Lee told NPR’s David Folkenflik. “It was going to be all about Latin America, and it was going to be for Latinos. It was all going to be very newsy and earnest.”

Then the network’s own journalists convinced Lee that targeting only millenials who happen to be Latinos was a giant mistake. “I had brilliant, amazing young journalists that were telling me, ‘dude, what’s wrong with you?'”

isaac-leeAnd Lee (pictured, left) changed course. As Folkenflik reports, the network changed course before launch a year ago, to focus on all millenials–offering an alternative on cable TV for consumers who might be getting most of their news from BuzzFeed and Vice.

The audience has yet to swarm Fusion, but Folkenflik talked to former CNN/US president Jonathan Klein, who sees a small audience as an opportunity to experiment: “There’s so much sameness now between the cable networks and the broadcast network news offerings, and you get a whiff of a sense of rebelliousness or inventiveness that younger viewers, especially, will welcome.”


Listen to the story, from NPR: