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Posts Tagged ‘Billy Kimball’

Fusion Chief Programming Officer Billy Kimball Stepping Down

Fusion304x200Executive changes at Fusion today as Billy Kimball, with the network as chief programming officer since its launch, is stepping down.

“Throughout his tenure, Billy has worked tirelessly to constantly improve our existing shows, nurture our talent, and develop exciting new projects, many of which are now reaching the pilot phase,” Fusion CEO Isaac Lee wrote in a memo to staff obtained by TVNewser.

“As you all know, Billy is a brilliant producer and we hope to continue working with him on a number of projects in the future.”

Replacing Kimball is Wade Beckett, who was most recently showrunner for ESPN’s SportsNation after six years as an executive at NBCUniversal’s G4 network. “Wade is an experienced producer with a demonstrated track record of developing and leading innovative programming that resonates with new audiences,” Lee says.

Lee’s full memo to staff after the jump.

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Fusion’s SOTU Coverage Will Be Hosted by Puppets and a Comedian

fusion puppetsA month after Fusion launched, CEO Isaac Lee encouraged the network’s staffers to “reach beyond the conventional.” They appear to be taking Lee’s advice to heart, especially when it comes to political coverage: tomorrow night, comedian Paul F. Tompkins and the puppets from “No, You Shut Up!” will helm the network’s State of the Union coverage.

Variety’s Brian Steinberg speaks with Fusion senior vice president and chief programming officer Billy Kimball about the decision:

Viewers will be able to hear President Obama’s every word, said Kimball. The creatures will only talk during gaps in the speech, such as when applause breaks out. Fusion has altered commercial loads so that it can present the event free of advertising, he said.

The off-beat attempt at political coverage marks what Fusion executives hope is a new calling card for the fledgling network: Satire of important current events about which a good chunk of the nation is curious. Fusion’s lineup is an unorthodox mix of hard-news coverage and satire – indeed, the satire takes up an entire hour starting at 9 p.m. Eastern and breaks up more traditional news programming. But Kimball says more is on the way. Read more

This is How Fusion Will Launch

It’s the boldest network launch since a Fox Business correspondent stood on CNBC’s front lawn in the pre-dawn hours of Oct. 15, 2007 for some “peacock hunting.”

And this is so much better.

Fusion launches at 6:57pm tonight with a network showtune. With lyrics by Emmy Winner and former “Daily Show” Executive Producer David Javerbaum – now an EP for Fusion — and music by Adam Schlesinger, the song sets the stage for what the channel strives to be. Lyrics include:

When the time to segment Fusion’s target demographic came, We at first thought young Hispanics were our core. Then we ran it up the flagpole and decided we should aim at millennials 18 to 34.

“The musical video came out so well that we are thinking about commissioning an entire musical about corporate synergy. It will be our High School Musical,” said Chief Programming Officer Billy Kimball. “I am really hoping that for the next one we can get Steven Sondheim to compose the music and the Harvard Business School to write the lyrics.” WATCH:

HuffPost Live’s Alicia Menendez To Join Fusion

First on TVNewser: Fusion, the upcoming cable news channel from ABC News and Univision, is adding HuffPost Live host Alicia Menendez to its lineup, TVNewser has learned.

Menendez is joining Fusion as an anchor based in Miami, and will host her own show on the channel when it launches later this year.

Menendez, the daughter of U.S. Senator Bob Menendez (D-N.J.), has long been a regular commentator on cable news, and is the former co-host of “Power Play” on SiriusXM’s Cristina Radio, which targets “Modern Latina” listeners. She is also a former contributor to NBCLatino.com.

She joined HuffPost Live before it launched in the Summer of 2012, and has become one of the faces of the burgeoning video channel, which recently secured a TV foothold on Mark Cuban’s AXS TV. She drew particular acclaim for her live coverage of the Boston bombings last month.

Update: internal memo from Fusion’s Beau Ferrari, after the jump.

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