Fuse launches half-hour music news show
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Fuse is betting that serious music lovers want serious music news.
At a time when most music-related cable networks have moved away from regular news programming, and entertainment news programs limit their music coverage, Fuse will launch "Fuse News" Wednesday night at 8, a half-hour show that will cover only music news.
"There really has never been a serious, credible news program about music," said Rick Kaplan, the show's producing consultant and senior executive producer, and a former president of CNN and MSNBC, as well as a news executive at ABC and CBS. "We've got all these news programs about business and sports and news. We don't have a music program. Traditionally, music programs have been flighty or gossipy or a bit tabloid, and that is not what they wanted to do here."
Instead, "Fuse News" will focus on the stories and issues that affect music fans, musicians and the music industry -- from introducing fans to different types of music to explaining the business reasons behind some stars' actions.
"We've got very little interest in who's dating who," said Alexa Chung, who will co-anchor the show with Matte Babel. Chung said she finds Taylor Swift very intriguing, but she'd want to know more about how Swift collaborates with other songwriters than her social life.
"I'm the generation that people who make TV are scared of," said Chung. "I very much use my computer to look up things and I'm not necessarily stuck to my remote control. ... I try to look at this objectively, I would definitely watch it and be interested to learn these things because it's not just gossip about Rihanna and Chris Brown. It's actually about the inner workings of the music industry."
Jack Osbourne, who will be the show's senior contributing correspondent from the West Coast, said he was drawn to "Fuse News" because of his frustration with other entertainment news shows. "There's a distinct lack of serious news around entertainment," he said. "All entertainment news -- whether it's music or movies or TV whatever -- it's all very poppy. ... You're not really getting what's going on."
Fuse hopes to use its news show as the foundation for its prime-time programming on weeknights, as well as raise its profile as a network. "I think what we can do here is help the network, which deserves to grow -- grow to a new level, a new level of viewership and a new level of excitement," Kaplan said.