Univision’s star Spanish-speaking anchor will be the primetime face of its new English-speaking cable venture with ABC. Jorge Ramos will host Fusion’s flagship program at 8 p.m., an hour of English news anchored by a journalist that usually broadcasts in Spanish.
The nightly transition for Ramos, from a Spanish newscast at 6:30 p.m. for Univision to an hour of English on Fusion, captures the strategy for the new Doral-based network, which will target English-speaking Hispanics.
Univision and ABC on Thursday announced the programming line-up for Fusion when it begins airing on cable in late October. On the list: comedy programming by the former executive producer of The Daily Show, who was brought on as a top Fusion executive.
David Javerbaum, who left the popular comedy show in 2012, will work out of Los Angeles and help Fusion create a parody show, Univision executive vice president Beau Ferrari and interim Fusion CEO wrote in an email to staff. The high-profile hire, also announced Thursday, comes on the heels of Univision’s Spanish-speaking audience trumping the four major broadcast networks for the first time in July among the key demographic of adult viewers under 50.
Javerbaum was head writer of The Daily Show from 2002 to 2006, and then served as executive producer before leaving the show last year. He may be best known for his parody Twitter account, @TheTweetofGod, where he declares himself “your dope-ass divinity, trollin’ with My trinity...”
Fusion will be based in Doral, where Univision keeps its headquarters, but also is doing some hiring in New York, the home of ABC News.
In a statement, Javerbaum, who goes by DJ, said: “I feel incredibly lucky to be getting in on the ground floor at Fusion. I’ve never felt prouder to be a fifth-generation Hispanic-American."
Thursday’s announcement offered the fullest picture yet of Fusion’s approach television, and emphasized Univision’s leading role in the joint venture with ABC. León Krauze, a popular anchor of Univision’s Los Angeles, will host his own news program at 10. But while Univision has provided the high-profile talent, ABC is heading the push to get cable providers to pick up Fusion.
Also on the Fusion line-up: Sports Bar, a combination of sports talk and comedic skits; Strange Medicine, a look at alternative healing approaches, and Back Home, which “follows a different tastemaker each week on an epic and emotional voyage to their family’s country of origin.”
Fusion launches Oct. 28.