Tag Archive | "joint venture"

Fusion names board of directors, reveals more details

The new Univision/ABC cable network, slated to launch at the end of the summer, is starting to take shape.

While information has been slow and hard to obtain about many aspects of the joint venture, some details have been revealed.

Fusion doesn’t yet have a CEO, but according to Univision Networks President César Conde, they’re currently interviewing candidates for the position.

Both networks have recently provided the names of Fusion’s first board of directors, who’ll have the final say over the cable network.

The three board members representing ABC are Ben Sherwood, President of ABC News, Anne Sweeney, Co-Chairman, Disney Media Networks and President, Disney/ABC Television Group and Kevin Mayer, Executive Vice President, Corporate Strategy and Business Development for Disney.


Ben Sherwood, Anne Sweeney, and Kevin Mayer.

Univision’s three board representatives are Isaac Lee, President of Univision News, César Conde, President of Univision Networks and Andrew Hobson, Senior Executive Vice President and Chief Financial Officer for Univision Communications.

Isaac Lee, César Conde, Andrew Hobson.

Isaac Lee, César Conde, Andrew Hobson.

I’ve written a detailed feature story for TVNewsCheck about more developments at Fusion, which highlights the few hires made so far, some of the future plans and analysis of the viability of the network.




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ABC/Univision joint venture will be called Fusion

Univision-ABC2013After months of mystery, the ABC/Univision joint venture finally has a name.  The cable news and lifestyle network will be called Fusion and will launch in the second half of 2013, according to a joint statement issued moments ago.

Three weeks ago, Univision said the expected launch of the network was in September.

When it launches, Fusion will be available in millions of households nationwide. Five of the nation’s biggest cable distributors have already agreed to carry the network. Among them: Cablevision, Charter, Cox, AT&T U-verse and Google Fiber.

ABC and Univision say the new network will focus on the issues most relevant for U.S. Hispanics, including the economy, entertainment, music, food, immigration, pop culture, education, politics, health and wellness and more.

The new network now has a name… but no logo yet.

Fusion will be based in Miami.

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Avila named first ABC/Univision White House correspondent

Jim Avila (Photo courtesy: ABC)

Jim Avila (Photo courtesy: ABC)

ABC News President Ben Sherwood today announced that Senior National Correspondent Jim Avila is expanding his duties.  Starting later this year, he will be the first White House correspondent for the ABC/Univision joint venture. He’ll continue to contribute to 20/20.

Jim has been assigned to lead the charge for ABC News on covering Hispanic America, immigration reform, education, politics and other issues vitally important to the Latino community.

Prior to joining ABC News, Jim was a national correspondent for NBC’s “Nightly News.” He was previously an anchor and investigative reporter for KNBC in Los Angeles.

Jim is the first correspondent announced to be joining the ABC/Univision joint venture talent pool.


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Univision/ABC JV targets September launch

Univision-ABC2013The highly anticipated launch of the Univision/ABC joint venture is now scheduled for launch in September – a year and a half after plans for the new network were first announced.

The new channel doesn’t have a name or a CEO yet and its Miami headquarters are under construction.

A Univision spokesman says CEO candidates are currently being interviewed.  Once chosen, the CEO will report to a 6-member board of directors – 3 from ABC and 3 Univision.

Apparently, the two networks will divide responsibilities as follows:

ABC will handle distribution and commercialization and Univision will be mostly in charge of the content, with both networks pitching in their international and domestic news bureaus talent and resources.

Although there is no official head count yet, hiring has already begun.  The most prominent hires were done last year:

Keith Summa and Miguel Ferrer

Keith Summa and Miguel Ferrer

Keith Summa was the first. The former head of the CBS News Investigative Unit, Summa was named Vice President of News Partnerships in August of 2012.

Next was former AOL Latino exec and HuffPo Latino Managing Editor Miguel Ferrer, who was hired to be the first Executive Producer, Digital of the JV.

More recent hires include former “Dateline” producer Rayner Ramirez, who is now an Executive Producer for the JV, and former NBC news producer Dax Tejera, as Senior Coordinating Producer.



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Ferrer joins Univision/ABC News venture

Miguel FerrerMiguel Ferrer has been hired to be the first Executive Producer, Digital for the yet unnamed Univision/ABC News cable network.  He will oversee all digital properties and work closely with the ad sales, distribution and editorial teams. He starts October 30 and will divide his time between New York and Miami.

According to Univision, the President and CEO and other management team executives will be announced later this year.

Miguel was most recently the Managing Editor of the Huffington Post’s Black Voices, Latino Voices (English-language) and Voces (Spanish-language) sites.

Prior to his roles at the Huffington Post, Miguel spent more than 4 years as Director of Programming for AOL Latino. He was previously business development manager for People en Español and worked in international marketing for Warner Music Latin America.

The new network is expected to launch in the summer of 2013, with editorial coverage focusing on the most relevant issues for U.S. Hispanics.

The joint venture will have the support of Enterprise Florida, the State of Florida’s economic development agency, as well as The Beacon Council, Miami-Dade County’s economic development partnership.


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Miami will be home of Univision/ABC joint venture

The Univision/ABC 24-hour news network will be headquartered in Miami.  The Miami Herald reports Univision Networks President César Conde on Monday confirmed the joint venture will be housed in Miami and not California or New York, as it was once speculated.

The new cable network, set to launch by the summer of 2013, will employ about 400 people.

According to the Herald, the Beacon Council helped Univision and ABC secure about $3.5 million in local subsidies for the new network over the next five years. Documents filed with Miami-Dade County indicate the partnership will spend about $275 million to set up the network. Plans include the contruction of a 150,000-square-foot headquarter facility – too large for expansion at Univision’s Doral location.


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Univision/ABC news website goes live… quietly

There were no formal announcements.  No press releases.  Yet, today, the Univision/ABC News website was very quietly launched – the same day that Univision held its first “Meet the candidate” event with Republican candidate Mitt Romney.


A visit to the Univision News English tumblr site shows a message indicating they’ve “moved,” but promise to continue updating the Tumblr site.

The new co-branded site lives on ABCNews.com. Its URL is actually http://abcnews.go.com/ABC_Univision

A box with job ads for the new ABC/Univision News venture appears prominently on the front page, but when you click on them, all the listings indicate the jobs may have already been filled and offer a link back to the mediabistro job board.


When the joint venture was announced in May, ABC and Univision said they would launch a news website before the presidential elections, and as a precursor to the cable news network set to debut in 2013.


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Univision-ABC News venture officially signed, Miami likely headquarters

Two months after Univision and ABC News announced they would team up to create a 24-hour news operation targeting English-speaking Latinos, the networks have officially signed the definitive agreement to form the joint venture this week.

“We are pleased to come one step closer to our goal of delivering a new English-language news offering to U.S. audiences. Together, Univision News and ABC News will inform, engage and empower the thriving Latino community as well as provide news and information from a Latino perspective to a broader audience. Signing the definitive agreement is an important milestone of many to come,” said Univision News President Isaac Lee in a statement.

Confirmation of the signed deal comes days after the South Florida Business Journal reported a “mystery company” filed an application seeking $10.5 million in incentives from  Miami-Dade County and the state of Florida to create 346 jobs and establish its business there. Details in the application give strong indication that company is connected to Univision:

“We are a leading media company that is one of the top five networks in the U.S…. Headquartered in New York City, the company owns and/or operates television stations in the U.S. and 69 radio stations, with television network operations in Miami and other major cities throughout the U.S…The company has agreed in principal to form a joint venture with another major media network dedicated to providing uncompromising coverage of current events with a unique perspective.”

The incentive application states “Project Vision” would create 346 new jobs with average salaries of $81,110 and also invest $274.5 million to expand a unit of the company’s existing facility by 150,000 square feet.

The Miami-Dade County Commission approved a $3.5 million job growth incentive offer for “Project Vision”  on July 17. The company is seeking an additional $7 million in state incentives.

A Univision spokeswoman would not comment on the incentive application or on the Journal’s article.


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Veronica Villafañe, Editor and Publisher

I'm an Emmy award-winning journalist, who's worked as an on-air reporter in Spanish and English-language television news. I've worked for Univision, Telemundo, CNN en Español and Los Angeles Fox and UPN stations before diving into a convergence model at the San Jose Mercury News. I was president of the National Association of Hispanic Journalists from 2004 to 2006, and inducted into the Hall of Fame in August of 2016. As an online news manager, I was West Coast Web Editor for impreMedia and Managing Editor of IntersectionsSouthLA.org. In addition to running Media Moves, which I founded in June of 2007, I'm a regular contributor to Forbes and also do freelance work as writer, reporter and producer.