What: Finance and news media writer Felix Salmon is leaving Reuters to join Fusion, the cable channel co-owned by ABC and Univision.
Why it matters: Salmon says he is joining Fusion as he believes that the future of media is everything from traditional video to animation, interactive digital features, and more.
Reuters finance and news media writer Felix Salmon has decided to leave the media giant and join Fusion cable channel, a joint venture between ABC and Univision aimed at the millennial market launched in 2013. English-language cable TV channel Fusion is designed to appeal to young U.S.-born Latinos who primarily speak English.
Salmon, who is 42, had worked at Reuters for five years. Surprisingly, he hasn’t shown much interest in the past in appealing to the Hispanic market. His work actually, has consisted mostly of long-form blog posts about either the stock market or the ongoing disruption in the media industry.
In a blog post at Medium, Salmon said that the reason why he is joining the cable channel is that he believes that the future of media is “post text”, referring to everything from traditional video to animation, interactive digital features, and more.
“The core of what I do at Fusion will be post-text. Text has had an amazing run, online, not least because it’s easy and cheap to produce. When it comes to digital storytelling, however, the possibilities — at least if you have the kind of resources that Fusion has — are much, much greater,”said Salmon (photo)in the blog post.
Why Fusion? The post-text era
Salmon suggested that Fusion , can do things more traditional broadcasters and digital outlets can’t, from covering topics the mainstream media doesn’t to covering them in ways mainstream outlets don’t .
“The reason why I am going to Fusion is that they have the ability to help me communicate in the ways that people are going to consume information in the future. Which is not 1,500-word blocks of text,”Salmon told the NYT.
A further reason leading to Salmon’s decision ,which is quite clearly reflected in his own post and the New York Times story about his departure, is that Reuters was no longer a place where he could find any interest in experimenting with different forms of media or count with enough support for allowing his content to appear in non-Reuters locations such as Medium or Politico. As he put it:
“I’m not sure how much I’ll write on Fusion’s website, or even whether I’ll write on Fusion’s website. There might well be other platforms where it’s easier and more effective for me to reach my audience of wonks, finance people, media people, and the like.”
He also mentioned how he had become frustrated at working for a site that was driven primarily by the need to boost traffic or pageviews, because of a reliance on traffic-based advertising. To him, a TV network like Fusion, has a much larger revenue source than any text-based media outlet could have and that is exactly why a company like Fusion has the freedom to experiment.
“Most excitingly for me, the raison d’être of Fusion’s digital operation is not to get lots of unique visitors to Fusion’s website, who can then be sold to digital advertisers. That’s a tough business to be in, and is not particularly remunerative, in a world of falling CPMs.”
Certainly, english language is beginning to be recognized among advertisers who want to reach Latino millenials. With its original reporting and programming, Fusion is already doing it, by creating dynamic multi-platform conversations around the most resonant issues facing millennials.