NEW YORK, NY, September 8, 2003 – Fuse, the nation's only all-music, viewer-influenced network, is teaming with Tower Records, the world's leading entertainment retailer, on a multi-level marketing and programming partnership that will bring the retailer's highly successful in-store initiative, "The Next Big Thing," to national television. The announcement was made here today by Fuse president, Marc Juris.
"The Next Big Thing"(NBT) builds upon the Tower Records in-store promotion launched in June 2003 that is designed to introduce shoppers to the work of new and emerging artists. A new selection of NBT artists is selected each month and their CDs are showcased in special end-cap displays at all 92 Tower Records' stores, in their national weekly circulars and on in-store listening stations. To stimulate interest in these new performers, the CDs are on sale for $9.99 or less.
Fuse is bringing the popular project to life on television and its website, www.fuse.tv, with a fall 2003 effort entitled "Fuse Presents the Tower Records Next Big Thing Awards."
"The Tower Records Next Big Thing Awards" is Fuse's new half-hour monthly series dedicated to introducing listeners to the music of these NBT artists. The show premieres Saturday, September 13th at 9pm ET/6PM PT. The show will air eight times each month, followed by a new on-air spot created to familiarize viewers to the newest crop of NBT artists, and to encourage NBT voting at www.fuse.tv and www.tower.com. The artist garnering the most NBT votes during the month will be announced on Fuse's live, daily show, IMX-Interactive Music Xchange, including the presentation of a special video segment chronicling their work. Whenever possible, the winner will also appear live on the show to accept their "Next Big Thing" award. A special mini-Website has been created at www.fuse.tv to disseminate information about the program – providing artist bios, downloadable samples of their music and the way to vote for NBT artists.
"Fuse is the only network in the cable universe that is wholly dedicated to music, so it's only natural for us to partner with Tower Records to bring this very worthwhile program to a national television audience," stated Fuse president, Marc Juris. "With this program, Fuse viewers truly become tastemakers for a nation of music lovers – a collective force that can help determine which artists could be the next big thing across a host of genres. The broad exposure we will gain in Tower Records stores will also be very significant in furthering the awareness and impact of our brand among true music lovers."
"At Tower Records, music is our passion, this program enables us to get behind bands that are about to break; and with Fuse we can further our dedication to educate customers and share the mission to broaden musical horizons beyond what is usually heard on commercial radio," said Tower vice president of marketing, Russ Eisenman. "Our partnership with Fuse is the perfect marriage of content and retail. We are confident that this will be a very successful and exciting venture. It allows the powerful Tower Records brand to reach the new generation consumers. If Tower and Fuse can play a significant role in launching an artist's career, or spreading the word on a new sound, then we've done our job."
As part of the partnership, Tower Records will feature Fuse-branded marketing materials in their retail locations: on end-cap displays, listening stations, posters and in Tower's weekly nationally circulated insert media. Fuse is also working with Tower Records to create a national contest for unsigned artists that is projected for spring 2004.
Fuse is the nation's only all-music, viewer-influenced television network, featuring music videos, exclusive artist interviews, live concerts and specials — all rooted in the music experience. Fuse reflects the rapidly changing interests and attitudes of its 12-34 year-old audience by uniting the media platforms that are at the center of their communication and entertainment – TV, online, and interactive games – and by incorporating their opinions and suggestions into its on-air and online programming. More information about Fuse is available at www.fuse.tv.
About Rainbow Media Holdings, Inc.:
A leader in sports, news and entertainment programming, Rainbow Media Holdings, Inc. is a subsidiary of Cablevision Systems Corporation (NYSE:CVC). Rainbow owns and manages national networks: AMC, Fuse, IFC (The Independent Film Channel) and WE: Women's Entertainment, as well as Mag Rack, a collection of on-demand video magazines. Rainbow's other businesses include its regional programming services — MetroChannels, News 12 Networks and Rainbow Sports Networks – in addition to the Rainbow Advertising Sales Corporation and Rainbow Network Communications. Rainbow is a 50 percent partner in Fox Sports Net.
About Tower Records
Since 1960, Tower Records has been recognized and respected throughout the world for its unique brand of retailing. Founded in Sacramento CA by chairman Russ Solomon, the Company's growth over four decades has made Tower Records a household name. Tower Records stores are represented in fourteen countries throughout the world and in 218 different locations as wholly owned operations, licensees and affiliations. The company opened one of the first Internet music stores on America Online in June 1995 and followed a year later with the launch of Tower.com. The site was named among the top 50 retail websites by Internet Retailer magazine. Tower Records' commitment to providing its customers with a superior and specialized shopping experience is key to the organization's retail philosophy. Tower forges ahead with the development of exciting shopping environments, presenting diverse product ranges, artist performance stages, personal electronics departments, and digital centers. Tower Records maintains its commitment to providing the deepest selection of packaged and digital entertainment in the world merchandised in stores that celebrate the unique interests and needs of the local community.