Fusion Boss Highlights ‘Exceptional’ Week for New Network

By Chris Ariens 

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abc_fusion_logo_130508The 4-month-old cable network Fusion is taking a victory lap following coverage of two major stories in Latin America: the chaos in Venezuela and the capture of the world’s most wanted drug lord. Fusion CEO Isaac Lee , who is also president of Univision News, praised the partnerships with the channel’s parents, ABC News and Univision, while taking a jab at the competition.

“With few national outlets covering the story from the streets of Caracas, Fusion filled a void for many,” Lee writes in a note to staff, obtained by TVNewser.

Lee also notes that Fusion “tapped into the global resources of ABC News to cover the unrest in Ukraine,” while at the same time helping ABC News cover the events in Caracas. Fusion anchor, and Venezuela native, Mariana Atencio reported for “ABC World News” last night. And when the news broke Saturday that Joaquín “El Chapo” Guzmán was captured, Fusion’s Mariana van Zeller, who reported a documentary on the drug lord, appeared on “World News,” “GMA,” and “This Week.”

Lee’s note after the jump…

From: Isaac Lee (Fusion)
Sent: Monday, February 24, 2014 2:12 PM
To: All Fusion
Subject: Fusion Stands Out

Hola Fusion –

This past week has been an exceptional one for Fusion and I just wanted to take a moment to reflect and say how proud I am of our team.

Last week started with Derrick Ashong giving us all a look inside the mind of George Zimmerman. Derrick, embracing our value of transparency, penned a personal commentary explaining to our audience why he decided to interview a man at the center of heated debates about race, guns and justice. We saw Jorge Ramos anchoring “AMERICA” from Mexico City to cover President Obama’s meeting with the leaders of Mexico and Canada in Toluca – shining a light not only on the issues discussed at the summit, but also the important issues not discussed. On the other end of the spectrum we helped make people laugh with the second season premiere of “No, You Shut Up!” Tuesday night.

Fusion stood out as one of the only American networks to provide comprehensive coverage of the violence happening 6,000 miles away from Kiev in Venezuela. Mariana Atencio’s reporting from Caracas has been both powerful and passionate. With few national outlets covering the story from the streets of Caracas, Fusion filled a void for many. What is happening in Venezuela hits very close to home for many and Mariana has been there taking people on a journey inside Caracas.

To give you some perspective, our coverage of the young Venezuelans protesting has made up over one third of Fusion.net’s overall traffic from Tuesday to Friday. We saw an incredible amount of social media engagement with people sharing our Venezuela content at double our average rate – and not only are people engaging with our content, but they are also using our content to engage with each other organically.

The power of our partnership with ABC and Univision also took center stage. Throughout the week Fusion tapped into the global resources of ABC News to cover the unrest in Ukraine. We helped ABC News cover the events in Caracas with Mariana Atencio reporting for “ABC World News” last night as well as for their digital platforms last week. When news broke that El Chapo was detained on Saturday the Univision team at Newsport mobilized to help us update our documentary “El Chapo: CEO of Crime Captured” so we could get it on the air that night. Finally, Fusion’s Mariana van Zeller provided added value to ABC News’ coverage of the Chapo news by appearing on “World News,” “GMA,” and “This Week.”

When I think about all of this coverage, what Alicia Menendez said on AMERICA comes to mind – “we are not breaking the news for you tonight, instead we are dissecting the news.” I believe that from Miami and Mexico to Venezuela and Kiev we helped our audiences cut through the conversation and the rhetoric to the issues that matter most to them – issues of justice, equality, and leadership.

Thank you for all of your hard work, especially those on the editorial and operations teams who jumped into action over the weekend to help make our El Chapo coverage exceptional across all our platforms. Keep up the good work. I am looking forward to all the exciting things we have planned in the months ahead.