Jennifer Lopez Talks NUVOtv, Fuse Acquisition

Monday, May 12, was the start of an exceptionally hectic week for Jennifer Lopez. Home in New York for a few days on business, she was due back in L.A. Wednesday for the penultimate week of “American Idol”’s 13th season, then radio promo for her upcoming eighth album “A.K.A.” before heading to Vegas on Sunday, where she’ll be honored with Billboard’s Icon Award. But before she began any of that aggressive itinerary, she was on-hand for the upfront presentation of NUVOtv, the fledgling cable network geared toward Latin millennials where she was appointed chief creative officer last May. “It’s a typical week, no biggie,” Lopez said with her signature giggle, sliding into a booth with Billboard at New York’s Edison Ballroom an hour before NUVO’s upfront.

NUVOtv may be small in numbers, with distribution in just 32 million U.S. households, but it’s been in the news as of late for parent company SITV’s acquisition of Fuse in April, for $226 million. With a deal expected to be finalized in late June/early-July, according to NUVOTV CEO Michael Schwimmer’s remarks during the network’s upfront presentation, Lopez couldn’t discuss too much just yet with regard to her many plans. “Do you know how much paperwork goes into that?” she said at one point, wiping her brow in mock exasperation.

Staffers at Fuse, currently owned by MSG Media, seem to have already gotten wind of NUVO’s initial plans. Layoffs began earlier this month, according to Deadline, largely impacting the network’s Fuse News division, according to sources who spoke with Billboard. Though NUVO and Fuse will remain separate networks, Craig Geller, NUVOtv’s senior VP of ad sales, noted during the upfront, “Buying Fuse brings 73 million homes to us – it means NUVO is evolving into a broader media platform, with more opportunities for our partners.”

Fuse acquisition aside, NUVOtv unveiled a slate focused on English-language programming targeting young Latin consumers, from new seasons of reality dance series a “A Step Away” and news show “The/Collective,” a partnership with Vevo, to a slate of shows from producer Mario Lopez, including celebrity profile-based “One on One” and dance series “Love And Salsa.” Jennifer Lopez’s sister, TV journalist Lynda, will also be on hand for docuseries like “Nu Point of View” and “Los Jets,” chronicling a high school soccer team.