MEDIA

Fusion Partnering With The Root To Create TV Programming

The partnership will expose the popular black news site to a larger television audience.

The television news network Fusion announced Wednesday that it will partner with The Root, the popular black news and commentary site, to produce television programming starting in 2016.

While the specific nature of the programming is yet to be determined, a Fusion spokesman said it could come in the form of documentaries, specials and unscripted series, adding that the partnership is an effort to produce "stand alone, news-oriented, issue-based programming."

The spokesman said Fusion will provide technical production support for the programming, while The Root will provide editorial guidance.

Fusion, which has branded itself toward a diverse millennial audience, hopes the partnership will be an opportunity to further diversify its offerings.

“Bringing their editorial voice to our viewers underscores the importance of serving audiences with content that reflects the interests and passions of a young, multicultural generation," Fusion CEO Isaac Lee said in a statement.

The deal also boosts The Root's visibility, expanding the site's reach beyond its loyal online following to a television audience.

Henry Louis Gates Jr., chairman of The Root and a Harvard professor, said Fusion has a record of producing informative and entertaining content, and that he looks forward to seeing what the companies will create together.

"I am thrilled to be partnering with Fusion to give The Root an opportunity to broaden its reach beyond a highly engaged digital audience and to provide our community with more access to content that is relevant for their advancement," he said.

The partnership comes as a number of other digital media outlets seek to jump into the television market. NBCUniversal announced in August that it had invested in BuzzFeed and Vox.

Similarly, Vice has successfully expanded into television through its partnership with HBO. Vice originally started on HBO in 2013 with a weekly news magazine program, and will soon expand its presence on the channel with a daily newscast.

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