Fusion Is Breaking Convention

Tania Linares is a millennial. She is also associate general counsel and vice president of business affairs at the new TV network Fusion. Linares sits down with Hispanic Executive to explain how the channel is bringing together news and pop culture to inform an educated, inclusive, and engaged generation.

Tania Linares, Associate General Counsel and Vice President of Business Affairs at Fusion
Tania Linares, associate general counsel and vice president of business affairs at Fusion

Why is Fusion relevant to Hispanic millennials?

The most successful brands are linked to their consumers’ fundamental human values—the values that give meaning to their lives and express who they are and want to be. Fusion is the first network to reflect the values of the millennial generation, which is the most diverse generation in American history. We are aware that about one in five millennials are Hispanic, so when looking to serve this young generation, a natural entry point is to consider those who grew up with a Latino perspective.

I believe that in the coming years, especially as we get closer to 2016, when nearly all millennials will be eligible to vote, Fusion will take on an increased level of relevance. As we look to inform, empower, and inspire, Fusion will continually strive to leverage that power and give our audience a voice.

How is Fusion using other platforms to facilitate discussion with viewers?

It’s no surprise that social media is the way of the future. Our content reflects that. We’re working to be a digital-first company where we break our content online and expand the discussion on our linear TV platform.

What is unique about Fusion that sets it apart in today’s TV-news landscape?

Fusion is a network that helps young people cut through the rhetoric and divisiveness existent in many media outlets today. Fusion is not partisan, nor does it pretend to be. We have a perspective and a world-view but we don’t sensationalize just to drive traffic and viewership. We want to be authentic, transparent, inclusive, and entertaining. Most news outlets talk down to viewers, assuming what they need to know. Our audience tells us what they want to talk about. We don’t break the news, we break down the news.

How does that affect the way you deliver content?

There’s a time and a place for every story. Jorge Ramos, who is one of our anchors, asks tough questions to politicians but doesn’t take himself too seriously. He interviewed President Obama about his broken promises, but he also interviewed Yerd Nerp, the puppet from our show No, You Shut Up! on immigration. Our generation doesn’t take itself too seriously either. We know how to think about serious issues, but comedy is our currency. Satire is one form of comedy that we use to introduce issues and make them stick. It’s a way to bring content and storytelling into the news.

What issues are especially important to Hispanic millennials?

There’s not a lot of distinction between Hispanic millennials and their non-Hispanic peers. The two demographics share the same concerns and want to consume the same content. Our research indicates that millennials want meaning. We found that 62 percent of our audience wants to make a difference in their community. Millennials are inclusive. Fusion covers LGBT issues in a way that is unique from any other network. Immigration is a major concern for Hispanics who may have family in Latin America, but we have found it is also important to non-Hispanic viewers. Millennials have generally attained a higher level of education than previous generations, so we cover the economy from their perspective. Millennials are a huge force of purchasing power but also want to know about student loan debt.

How does Fusion help its viewers leverage their influence?

Millennials are the most diverse and inclusive generation in American history, and a large portion of that population is being underserved by traditional media. We are using all available outlets to include this population in the conversation.