Fuse Media expands C-suite, names chief business and content officers

Fuse Media is rounding out its C-suite with two new executive leadership roles.

On Thursday the entertainment company announced Patrick Courtney as chief business officer and Marc Leonard as chief content officer, effective immediately. Both Fuse Media execs will continue to report to company chairman and CEO Miguel Roggero.

“Fuse Media has experienced incredible growth over the years to the point where it was critical to create a new level of leadership to continue this momentum. Appointing Marc Leonard as the company’s first Chief Content Officer and Patrick Courtney as the first Chief Business Officer is a natural evolution of our growth and very well-deserved,” said Roggero in a statement.

Patrick Courtney _ Fuse Media
Patrick Courtney (Fuse Media)

Across its portfolio, Fuse Media includes linear channels Fuse and FM (Fuse Music), a subscription streaming service Fuse+, seven owned-and-operated FAST channels, an in-house Fuse Studios production arm, specialty production company focused on inclusive content Ignition Studios, and the Fuse Media Culture Collective which includes partner-owned FAST channels. 

Previously head of streaming & business development at Fuse Media, Courtney, in his new role as CBO will spearhead and executive long-term strategic efforts to help the company capitalize on emerging opportunities in the space. Courtney has been with Fuse Media since 2017 and in his previous position led the company’s entry into the FAST space.  Courtney also secured partnerships with Lionsgate, Tastemade and TMB (Trusted Media Brands), which formed the Fuse Media Culture Collective.  That effort is aimed at advertisers looking to reach multicultural audiences and involves a collection of partner-owned FAST channels, where Fuse serves as the exclusive seller of Lionsgate’s FAST channels and similarly supports Tastemade and TMB’s multicultural ad sales. According to Fuse, the Culture Collective, together with its portfolio of O&O channels reaches over 85% of multicultural households in the U.S.    

Courtney also launched the company’s subscription streaming service Fuse+, which debuted in 2021 with a focus on content meant to “motivate and elevate young, culturally diverse viewers.”

In 2023 Fuse+, which features over 500 hours of original scripted and unscripted programming, documentaries and films, was added to Roku’s Premium Subscriptions partner lineup as well as Amazon Prime Video. Priced at $1.99 per month, the streaming service has limited ads and is available on platforms including Amazon Fire TV, Apple TV, Google TV and Comcast Xfinity X1, and Xumo Play in the U.S. The company also counts distribution across all major platforms for its FAST channels, which include Shades of Black, Latino Vibes, El Rey Rebel, OutTV Proud, Backstage, Backstage en Espanol and Somos Novelas.  

Prior to Fuse, Courtney was SVP of programming and marketing strategy for digital comedy network Above Average, overseeing programming, audience development, distribution and marketing. Before that he was VP of client services at Affinitive, heading up digital marketing campaigns for customers including General Motors, Kia Ubisoft, JetBlue and Random House. Courtney also led the audience development team at Forbes and drove growth of its video network.

“Patrick has been a critical figure in bringing Fuse Media’s brands to the masses; from establishing us as one of the first cable brands to enter the FAST space, to launching the company’s SVOD, Fuse+,” said Roggero. “These strategic appointments will be instrumental in ensuring the company’s continued growth in the media landscape as the champion and go-to destination for an ever-growing and ever-evolving multicultural audience.”

Marc Leonard _ Fuse Media
Marc Leonard (Fuse Media)

Leonard, meanwhile, spent more than two decades at Viacom Media Networks before joining Fuse Media in 2014. At Viacom he most recently served as SVP of Programming for Logo, overseeing programming strategy, content management and acquisitions, and was part of the team that greenlit RuPaul’s Drag Race.

During his 10-year tenure at Fuse, Leonard helped establish Latino-owned Fuse Media “as the first media brand dedicated to fully inclusive content,” with the company touting awards including Peabody, Emmys. Critics Choice Awards and diversity awards from NAACP, GLAAD and the Imagen Awards under his leadership. He was also responsible for the creation of Ignition Studios, which works to pair outside brands and platforms with a team of content specialists to help develop shows that meet respective goals with a focus on inclusive content.

“Over the last ten years, Marc’s leadership has been nothing short of exemplary and he has been a driving force in establishing Fuse Media as the leading creator and distributor of award-winning multicultural content,” Roggero stated.