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Fusion to Rebrand Website as Splinter as TV Channel Broadens Focus

Variety logo Variety 7/7/2017 Cynthia Littleton
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Univision’s Fusion Media Group is rebranding its Fusion news website as Splinter as it plans to broaden the focus of the Fusion cable channel.

The Fusion news website will become SplinterNews.com as of July 24. The site will focus on news and political commentary “for a justice-minded, inclusive, and incisive audience,” the company said.

The shift comes as the Fusion TV channel plans more programming derived from digital properties owned by Univision, such as pop culture fare from the A.V. Club and the Onion and lifestyle material from Jalopnik and Gizmodo. The Fusion.net website will continue as the digital companion to the linear channel.

The Fusion digital news site has already started to establish a separate identity and editorial staff from the TV channel. The SplinterNews.com site plans to emphasize political and investigative reporting — no surprise given the heightened public interest in the activities of the Trump administration.

Splinter editor-in-chief Dodai Stewart vowed that the rebranded site “will contextualize current events while remaining committed to amplifying underrepresented voices, shining a light on systematic inequality and skewering politicians when necessary. Readers can expect piercing reporter and commentary with a sharp point of view.”

The linear Fusion channel has gone through numerous programming strategy shifts since its launch in 2013 as a joint venture of Univision and Disney. The channel, now solely owned by Univision, began as a news venture aimed at multicultural millennials. Fusion now reaches just under 40 million homes. But it’s likely to have an uphill climb adding significant linear distribution in the coming years amid the rise of skinny bundle MVPD services designed to appeal to cost-conscious consumers.

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