Fusion, the upcoming cable news channel from ABC News and Univision, has ever so slightly shifted its focus, and it is a big deal. The change wasn’t exactly buried in the press release, no, it was right there in the first sentence:
“Fusion, the groundbreaking news, information and lifestyle network for Latinos and millennials, today announced the channel will launch in millions of households nationwide.”
Latinos and millennials. Fusion now wants to become the cable news channel for the under-30 set, in addition to its original positioning as a “news and lifestyle network for U.S. Hispanics,” which is how the channel was described when the name was announced in February.
On the one hand the move is an obvious one. Traditional cable news channels skew old, and in some cases very old. Fox News Channel’s average viewer is over 65, while the average MSNBC or CNN viewer is around 60, according to Nielsen. Your typical cable news anchor or host is an older, white male, with both women and minorities represented well below their representation in the country as a whole.
The median age of U.S. Hispanics is 27, compared to 37 for the country as a whole, according to the U.S. Census Bureau, so targeting that demographic is naturally targeting younger viewers.
Fusion is betting that younger people actually want to get news and analysis from TV, not just from sites like BuzzFeed or The Huffington Post. To that end it has stacked its lineup with young hosts and anchors, although its signature nightly program will be anchored by the decidedly older (albeit well-respected) Jorge Ramos. It is also making a major push for news/satire programming, with a sports news comedy show at launch, and a project with the Jim Henson Company in the works.
Fusion is not the only channel trying to enter the space, others have the same idea too.