Fuse Set To Launch Music-Themed News Series

Fuse has fine-tuned its daily music series Fuse News to focus more on topical and trending news shows.

Former CNN president Rick Kaplan has been tapped to spearhead the venture, which will finally debut in primetime on Feb. 6, five months after it was initially slated to premiere as a daily afternoon show.

Fuse TV president Mike Bair said he pulled the plug on first version of Fuse News – which at the time he described as “SportsCenter meets E! News for music” – after the network’s online music news division began to reveal that viewers wanted strong, well-reported news about the music industry and not short, gossipy items about performers or bands.

“I thought there was a much richer opportunity to do show like this that would be deeper, more thoughtful and mature, and that would have a greater degree of reporting and writing than we had previously planned,” he said.

The show will be hosted by music and fashion personality Alexa Chung  and former Entertainment Tonight contributor Matte Babel. The two-man anchor setup replaces the four-host strategy under the show’s previous iteration. Along with Chung, two of those hosts -- reality-series star Jack Osbourne and former Gawker writer Elaine Moran – will remain on as “senior contributing correspondents,” with the remaining original host Ashanti departing the show altogether. 

Former NBC Universal talent producer Liz Walaszczyk will round out the senior contributing correspondents lineup. 

“Our two anchors [allows us] to keep the show manageable,” Kaplan said.

R. Thomas Umstead

R. Thomas Umstead serves as senior content producer, programming for Multichannel News, Broadcasting + Cable and Next TV. During his more than 30-year career as a print and online journalist, Umstead has written articles on a variety of subjects ranging from TV technology, marketing and sports production to content distribution and development. He has provided expert commentary on television issues and trends for such TV, print, radio and streaming outlets as Fox News, CNBC, the Today show, USA Today, The New York Times and National Public Radio. Umstead has also filmed, produced and edited more than 100 original video interviews, profiles and news reports featuring key cable television executives as well as entertainers and celebrity personalities.