On Tuesday, Jan. 21, we hosted our latest #ConnectChat, " The Role of Hispanic Media in 2014" with Maritza Puello, (@cocodark), a managing editor of Newscore at Fusion, the ABC-Univision venture that launched in October of last year.
Maritza discussed Fusion, its content, the differences between Hispanic and English language stations, challenges in the industry and much more.
Fusion is a new network and many may still not be aware if what it is. Can you please tell us what it's about and how it came to be?
The programming focuses on news, pop culture and satire. Fusion came about as joint venture between ABC and Univision
What is your role there and what did you do before arriving at Fusion?
I am Managing Editor with the NewsCore department. Our department primarily handles day of news content. Before coming to Fusion, I was the Executive Editor at @NY1Noticias in New York City. @NY1Noticias is a 24 hours Spanish language news channel covering the city of New York.
Who is the target audience for Fusion and is the programming in English or Spanish?
Fusion is targeted to millennials. All the programming is in English.
How exactly does the partnership between ABC and Univision work? Is it shared programming?
Fusion generates original programming. ABC and Univision both provide resources. Those resources can be information, technical support, talent, equipment, etc.
Is the talent from one of those specific networks or are they solely Fusion reporters, producers, etc.?
Fusion has its own team of reporters, producer and production staff. There are times when on-air talent from ABC or Univision comes on the shows. Jorge Ramos does have his own show on Fusion, called, "America with Jorge Ramos".
Is the production based in NYC only? Or do you cover other regions?
Fusion is headquartered in Miami. We have staff who files stories from other cities but almost everything comes out of Miami.
Is there any chance of ever creating Spanish programming?
There are no plans at this time to create Spanish programming.
What type of shows does Fusion have on the air?
We have all sorts of programming. We have a Morning Show. Jorge Ramos has a news magazine show, Alicia Menendez has a show. We have a soccer show called the @SoccerGods. Our Morning show has a lot of comedy.
Does Fusion work with PR agencies and do you accept pitches?
Fusion doesn't work much with PR agencies. We take careful attention to create original content. We welcome all pitches. It's up to individual producers to decide what they want to use.
You've been in the business for a long time -- what do you see as the biggest challenge today for television news, especially Spanish-language outlets?
I think the biggest challenge for TV news is how to hold on to the viewers. People have lots of choices these days. I think Spanish-language stations don't have the same resources available to them that English-language outlets do. Spanish-language stations always have to do more with fewer resources.
Besides language, how do Spanish language TV stations differ from general English language TV stations?
I think one of the key differences bet English and Spanish TV News stations is in the stories that are covered. I think one of the key differences bet English and Spanish TV News stations is in the stories that are covered. Spanish language media also covers more international news, especially stories coming from Latin America.
What does a young, aspiring journalist need to do to advance in today's media landscape?
See how stories are treated differently by outlets and how they are presented differently across platforms. Also read/watch things that fall outside your favorite choice categories. Explore other topics. For aspiring journalist, I would say consume as much media as you can, across all platforms. Newspaper, digital, social, radio.
With social media nowadays is it harder / easier for young journalists to cover the news?
I think it's easier. Social media give journalist a lot more places to explore, discover.
What differences do you see between Hispanic outlets just 5 to 10 years ago to today's newsrooms?
There isn't much change in the newsroom from 5 years ago as far as storytelling. The stories that are of importance to the community will always need to be told. The difference that I have seen is in the use of social media. Social Media has become an essential part of how we produce and share content.
What do you think Hispanic TV stations need to do to keep themselves relevant and attracting an audience?
Spanish language TV stations need to embrace technology. Social media in particular is a great way to keep people informed as to what is going in their communities or in the world. It's important to remember, good stories - good storytelling will never go away. What will change is the way we tell those stories. Technology is what is helping us innovate in how those great stories are shared.
Audiences are changing and our generation is getting older. What are today's 18-34 demographic looking for?
Millennials are looking to be informed, entertained. They want to share thoughts, ideas and build a sense of community. Millennials take stand on issues. They’re curious about what's happening on their block, and what's happening in the world.
How is Fusion dealing with the fact that it's not being carried everywhere and does that pose any problems for content, distribution or talent?
Fusion's team is working hard on distribution. As with many newly launched channels the audience is small at first. Our digital/social teams are doing an outstanding job in getting our content on the web.
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