FUSE MEDIA ANNOUNCES MANAGEMENT CHANGE
CEO Michael Schwimmer to Depart Company
Mike Roggero Named Interim CEO
LOS ANGELES/NEW YORK, APRIL 8, 2019 ─ Michael Schwimmer, president and CEO, of Fuse Media has resigned, effective April 12, 2019. Mr. Schwimmer’s future professional plans will be announced shortly. Mike Roggero, COO/CFO of the company and an integral part of its leadership team for more than 12 years, has been named interim CEO.
Mr. Schwimmer joined the company’s first board of directors after shepherding Dish Network’s original investment into the start-up SíTV Media in 2003, which launched the SíTV cable network in 2004 as the first English-language entertainment destination for the underserved Latino community. He became CEO in 2005, a role that he has held for 14 years. As CEO, he oversaw the network’s growth and rebrand to NUVOtv in 2011, and the following year, established an historic strategic alliance with superstar and entrepreneur, Jennifer Lopez, including a multi-faceted collaboration with her company, Nuyorican Productions.
In 2014, Mr. Schwimmer spearheaded the company’s transformative $226 million acquisition of Fuse from the Madison Square Garden Company, resulting in the creation of Fuse Media, which included the nation’s largest privately-held independent cable network. Today, Fuse Media is an independent, multiplatform entertainment media brand for Latino and multicultural youth that integrates compelling content while advancing important social issues. Most recently, he launched Fuse Docs and Fuse Films: series that showcase documentaries and independent films, respectively; created the short-form focused Fuse Content Studio and spearheaded a unique partnership with Complex Networks; and formed a partnership with UnidosUS, reviving the organization’s ALMA Awards® as its exclusive multiplatform media home.
As a result of these efforts, Fuse’s audience is one of the most multicultural on cable, as well as one of the youngest – with a median age more than 15 years below cable’s average. In the process, digital and social viewership has increased 250% over the past year.
Mr. Schwimmer has been a committed advocate for delivering relevant and entertaining content to Latino and multicultural viewers for most of his career and his work has been recognized with several industry awards, including the T. Howard Foundation’s Diversity Award for Executive Leadership, the Multicultural TV Leadership Award from Broadcasting & Cable and Multichannel News, and he has consistently been part of the Cablefax 100 list of top cable executives. He is a member of the Board of the National Association of Television Program Executives (NATPE), the NAACP Entertainment Industry Board of Advisors, and the Peabody Awards’ Board of Directors. Prior to joining the company, he had a long tenure at Dish Network where he was executive vice president of programming and marketing.
Remarked Mr. Schwimmer, “I have spent nearly 16 years working closely with this incredible company, its board, executive team and some of the most talented people in media and entertainment, and am very proud of what we have built together. I am excited about what’s next, both for myself and with Fuse, and glad to know that the company is in the excellent hands of a strong executive team under the leadership of Mike Roggero – someone who has played a large role in setting Fuse up for future success.”
“Michael’s grit and determination over the years – often in the face of long odds – have been a key ingredient to our culture and our success. We’ll greatly miss his steady hand and sense of humor,” said Mr. Roggero.
As chief operating officer and chief financial officer for Fuse Media, Mr. Roggero has overseen the company’s multiplatform operations, finance, legal, pricing and planning and technology departments, and is responsible for the company’s relationships with the investment and analyst community. He played a key role in the acquisition of Fuse from the Madison Square Garden Company, led the company’s bond offering, and was responsible for engineering $55 million in annualized cost synergies as part of the acquisition.
Mr. Roggero has also helped Fuse Media identify and expand the company’s multiplatform business opportunities, including development and distribution of content beyond the Fuse and FM (Fuse Music) linear TV networks, and onto OTT platforms. This has included the launch of original short-form content such as Lie Detector and Made from Scratch – the latter of which was recently greenlit as a long-form linear series. He has also worked closely with the content team to secure deals including with key talent such as Wilmer Valderrama. Leveraging his Cuban and Peruvian heritage, Mr. Roggero also co-developed and executive produced a six-part documentary called PastPort: A Journey Back Home, which follows American Latino celebrities back to their parents’ countries of origin.
A business veteran with more than 20 years of financial, business development and management experience with Fortune 100 companies and start-ups, Mr. Roggero is known for forming mutually-productive business relationships and finding creative solutions to business challenges. Prior to joining Fuse Media, he founded a private investment company focused on middle market companies and multi-family real estate properties.
Previously, Mr. Roggero was a group executive with Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier, where he managed the turn-around of a portfolio of international publishing businesses and served as COO for the company’s eLogic, Inc. subsidiary. He has held executive positions at The Walt Disney Company – where he was part of the founding management team that launched and established Disney as a leader in the interactive entertainment space – as well as at PepsiCo and Paramount Pictures.
Mr. Roggero holds a Bachelor of Science in Business Administration from the University of Southern California, where he graduated as a member of Beta Gamma Sigma, and a Masters of Business Administration from The Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania.
About Fuse Media
Fuse Media is a cross-platform entertainment media brand for multicultural youth. The company’s platforms include the Fuse and FM (Fuse Music) linear and video-on-demand (VOD) channels; Fuse.TV online and social media properties; OTT apps; and live events. For photos and additional assets, please visit fusepress.tv.