The official tag line seen on the Twitter page for MVPD-distributed channel Fuse reads, “We’re working on ourselves.”
How prophetic. Parent company Fuse Media on April 23 announced that Fuse and its wholly owned subsidiaries have initiated a voluntary, pre-packaged Chapter 11 financial restructuring.
On Wednesday (6/19), it provided a positive update, noting that the cross-platform entertainment media brand for Latino and multicultural millennial and GenZ audiences will emerge from Chapter 11 on schedule and as “a materially stronger company.”
The April move was done in an effort to reduce Fuse Media’s secured debt by approximately $200 million, while “significantly reducing” related interest expenses.
On Tuesday (6/18), Fuse Media’s plan was approved by a Delaware federal bankruptcy court.
As such, the company will officially exit Chapter 11 “in the coming weeks.”
Fuse Media put a spin on how, through the financial reorganization, it has continued to grow its business. This includes the launch of adult animated original series Sugar and Toys, and the commencement of production of an original new series initially developed as a short-form digital series that will premiere on the linear Fuse channel this fall.
Reaffirming partnership with DirecTV and AT&T for its U-Verse platform also help.
What doesn’t help: A Q1 move that saw Fuse and sister channel FM get dropped from Comcast’s Xfinity and Verizon FiOS due to a reported lack of significant viewership.
There was no update offered by Fuse on if any return to Xfinity or Verizon FiOS is in the works.
Fuse is presently led by interim CEO Mike Roggero. He thanked Fuse employees “for their hard work and dedication during this challenging period” while also noting “the unwavering financial support of our bondholders.”
Now, Roggero says Fuse Media’s strengthened balanced sheet will allow it to accelerate its investment in original programming.
Fuse is advised by Pachulski Stang Ziehl & Jones and FTI Consulting.
Additional information about Fuse’s Chapter 11 cases can be found at www.kccllc.net/fusemedia.