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New York Magazine's Kevin Roose Heads to Fusion, Too

"The most ambitious experiment happening in media right now."


Fusion, the little-known cable network that’s snapped up a raft of Big Name Writers, has hired New York Magazine’s Kevin Roose as part of its effort to build out its new Silicon Valley bureau.

Known for his sharp observations on tech culture, Roose, 27, joins a roster of other well-regarded names that have landed at Fusion, including Felix Salmon from Reuters, Jezebel founding editor Anna Holmes and Tim Pool from Vice. In addition to Roose, Forbes’ Kashmir Hill is also joining the tech bureau.

“Fusion is the most ambitious experiment happening in media right now, and I just wanted to be a part of it,” Roose said. “It was that simple.”

The cable network, a joint venture between Univision and Disney, targets a multi-cultural, millennial audience, but it’s still a curiosity in digital media. The content takes a slightly fun, slightly serious approach to the news with stories like “Who said it: Politician or Taylor Swift?” sitting alongside video interviews of people like Spike Lee.

Roose’s move comes a week after Bloomberg used its deep pockets to hire Business Insider editor Joe Weisenthal. He’s supposed to create a new site and TV show for the Wall Street data service, which has been on a hiring spree of its own.

Alexis Madrigal, Fusion’s Silicon Valley bureau chief, who recently joined from, said Fusion’s tech section will be “a kind of R&D lab for how to do interesting tech journalism.”

Roose will continue to write as well as help produce a television show and manage the staff. “We’re going to be constantly tweaking and adding and trying to figure out what works, and the freedom and leeway and the mission of Fusion is to experiment,” he said.

Madrigal also sees it as a chance to bring back some of the Futurist sensibility that characterized tech coverage of the past. “A lot of fun has gone out of technology reporting across the board and we want to put that back in,” he said.

He lamented the loss of lighter-hearted fare from a few years ago. “If you look at the archives of Mashable from like 2010, there were stories like, ‘Twitter has more users today than it had yesterday,'” he said, adding that today’s tech news is less “celebratory.”

While the tech press is sometimes seen as an uncritical mouthpiece for startups and their venture backers, Madrigal compares Fusion to other general interest media brands. “We’re definitely not the tech press,” he said. The forthcoming TV show on technology will also aim to hit a wider target of people, which Madrigal describes as something in the vein of PBS’s “Nova” series.

“We want to make TV that doesn’t look like any TV right now,” he said. “If we’re the R&D lab out here in Silicon Valley, and that’s what we’re supposed to represent, we better do something different.”

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