During a week when slinky Prada stilettos, haute Converse tennis shoes and enough bling to warrant dark, incognito Oliver Peoples are being shined and primed to hit the red carpet for the music industry's biggest night on Feb. 10 at the 55th Annual Grammy Awards, another big launch is rolling out just days before. Fuse network will introduce Fuse News, a daily 30-minute music news program set to debut on Feb. 6, that will tackle not only the top stories of the day, but will also explore more complex issues facing the ever-changing music industry, hot topics swirling the biz and present in-depth stories on recording artists, airing weeknights at 8 p.m. EST. Fuse News will be led by co-anchors British television presenter and model Alexa Chung and Canadian television personality Matte Babel, who will work with senior contributing correspondents Jack Osbourne, former Gawker writer Elaine Moran and television producer Liz Walaszczyk, with senior executives Emmy Award-winners Rick Kaplan and Audrey Gruber at the helm.
I spoke to Jack Osbourne about his role at Fuse News, who he's always wanted to interview, what he's most pumped about and what Ozzy thinks of his new gig.
Hi Jack. Nice to talk with you. So, this is exciting, especially for music fans. Fuse News is all set to debut on Feb. 6 just in time for the Grammy's. What are you most looking forward to in your role as Senior Contributing Correspondent with Fuse?
I'm looking forward to having an ability and a platform to discuss the music subjects and topics essentially I want to talk about. This isn't your typical entertainment news show where it comes from the top down where the execs are like, "All right, this is the story we're covering, go." It's real news. We get on a conference call everyday and we all discuss the stories that we've heard and what's out there and we move from that point. So, having the ability to pick and choose what I want to cover is really a true expression of myself and all the other anchors."
Can you give us a sneak peak to what may be on the roster, something that you might be working on?
We're working on stories about, for instance, gun violence and music; does it or does it not affect incidences? We're doing obviously the Grammys because we're launching on this week and we're going to be entrenched heavily with that. We're also talking about stuff about the residency in Vegas, and how it's become a very popular thing for these very big name acts holed up in Vegas now for a matter of weeks or months doing the hotel runs. There's a lot of stuff; big editorial pieces we're working on.
So, congratulations. In addition to Fuse News, you're a new father, developing and working on a TV docu-series Alpha Dogs for the National Geographic channel, you recently produced a documentary about your father, G-d Bless Ozzy Osbourne and directed a music video for Ozzy's song, "Life Won't Wait." How do you keep it all together? That's pretty impressive.
It's funny. I was talking to my mum last night and I'm like, "I'm so excited right now." I literally had like one day off, a real day off, last week and I was in D.C. and I was so relieved. I was like, "Wow, this is amazing." But, you know, you make it work, you find time and there's a lot of juggling actively in some capacity. I'm working on four shows right now between my show I do, Fuse where we're well-entrenched in and the two shows I'm producing, so it's really a lot right now, but it's good, I enjoy it.
Will your parents be involved with Fuse at all?
If my parents are involved in Fuse, it will be no more than like in an interview capacity. I'm on my own in this front, unless I have to call my mom and be like, 'Hey, you need to get me this person on the phone because I need to interview them' and maybe I'll call in that favor every now and then. (Laughs.)
What did Ozzy have to say when you first told him about your new gig?
My dad is not fazed very easily. He was like, "Oh, that's cool." I think that's kind of his reaction to it. When you've seen the things he's seen and done the things he's done Fuse News to him is like, "Oh, cool, right on." He doesn't watch anything but the History Channel, but I'm sure when I interview him, he'll actually realize that it is a real job. Like Alpha Dogs, which I've been working on for 18 months, he didn't realize I was actually making a TV show. I told him the other day, "Oh, Alpha Dogs launches next week" and he's like, "What's that?" And I'm like, "A TV show I started a company around that I've been producing for 18 months" He's like, "Oh, OK." (Laughs.) He's busy, though, doing the Sabbath album right now and I think the least of his worries is what are the minute details of my children's jobs right now. (Laughs.)
What's it like now working with Fuse? I know that you were with MTV with your family's Reality TV show, The Osbournes. What do you find the differences are and what has your experience been like jumping ship from MTV to go over to Fuse?
It's weird; I don't look at it like that. I look at it like, when my family worked with the technically competitive network 11 years ago now it was a totally different animal. That was a network that was very -- for it's time -- it was very innovative, and forward thinking, but things change. They went from doing kind of ground-breaking, non-scripted shows to doing stuff which doesn't represent music and that's fine, it's great; they've obviously figured out a way to make a network work for themselves, but being my family is first and foremost rooted in music and I was given an opportunity to report on music in a very real way, you know, I took the opportunity. In a weird way, I don't look at it like I jumped ship; I just look at it as a progression. At the end of the day, I am a freelance TV personality, if you want to say I have a personality (jokes) and so I'm going to go where the job is.
What are you most pumped about for Fuse News?
What I'm most pumped about is the fact that technically I'm a journalist now. I'm excited about having the freedom to report on what I want to report on as long as I get the thumbs up from my bosses, really. I'm excited to see where this takes me because it's going to be really interesting and baptism of fire in a way.
Is there one person now as a journalist you've always wanted to interview and hear their story?
That's a good question. I'm the kind of person that if someone says, "Oh yeah, you can't do that," I want to then go do it. I want to interview the people who don't normally give interviews. You know, the band Tool being one of them. To get an on-camera interview with Tool, you have a better chance of meeting Santa Claus, so I want to sit down and do a real in-depth interview with them. I want to start the war corresponding department for Fuse News, see what soldiers are listening to on the front lines. With Fuse, go to places you normally wouldn't think music would be covered in.
Fuse News premiers on Feb. 6 and Alpha Dogs premiers on Feb. 8, so it's a big week for me and I couldn't be happier.
In addition to the regularly scheduled half-hour show that will air weeknights at 8 p.m. EST, Fuse News will feature "Live at the Grammy's: Fuse News," a two-hour special on Sunday, broadcasting live from the red carpet.