Fuse Taps Mullen as VP

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Catherine Mullen has been named to a new role as executive VP and general manager of Cablevision’s music network, Fuse.

Mullen, formerly general manager at MTV UK and Ireland, fills a programming hole left when entertainment chief Rob Weiss exited the network amidst difficulty with management at the end of last year. B&C broke the news of Weiss’ departure on Dec. 23.

Mullen, who in her last role launched UK versions of MTV hits TRL and Pimp My Ride and greenlighted MTV International’s successful Dirty Sanchez series, will head up Fuse’s programming, marketing and development, both on TV and on emerging platforms.

Prior to her work at MTV, Mullen was senior associate at Marakon Associates, providing business consulting to companies including Coca-Cola. She started her career at public-policy research firm ABT Associates.

Mullen had been a candidate for the new role at least since Weiss left the network in December. Weiss, who joined Fuse last spring after heading East Coast development at VH1, left the network while senior-level management was looking to name a general manager and was not considering him for the role.

At the time, executives close to the matter said Weiss clashed with senior-level management and would have been out regardless of whether he was up for the general manager role.

Youth-targeted Fuse averaged just 28,000 total viewers during prime in 2005, flat from 2004. But this fall it broadened its programming slate to embrace new formats such as news and sports, and inked a handful of new distribution deals, including a cellphone-content deal with MobiTV and a carriage agreement with Comcast. One of Cablevision’s Rainbow Entertainment networks, it reaches some 44 million subscribers and programs to the 18-34 demo.

This fall, it was rumored Cablevision would sell Fuse. B&C reported The Weinstein Company’s Harvey and Bob Weinstein were attempting to buy Fuse to transform it into a platform for their startup company’s movie and entertainment products.

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