Univision Struggles To Keep The Lights On

Last week, the conservative Spanish speaking network laid off an undisclosed number of crewmembers, eliminating perks like 401K matches and some details about medical coverage were disclosed: members can keep Cobra benefits for several months.

The layoff announcement was made during their signature newshour with Jorge Ramos. Univision has increasingly lost market share and audience for its frequent Republican guests, and criticism levied over revered leftist figures in Mexico. This only highlights the division between its mostly Mexican audience and it’s Florida based management.

Trouble Brewing Since 2019

Univision has struggled to keep up with trends surrounding its core audience. The network has struggled to keep tabs on the trends most connected to its primarily Mexican audience.

Much of it is due to an internal power struggle first described by the LA Times by way of the Verge in which the Los Angeles market was neglected:


“the Times said several current and former Univision employees described the company as a dysfunctional organization that was plagued by struggles between Latino managers and older white executives. “At the board level, private equity captains soured on their investment, browbeat management and starved key Univision properties, including such local stations as KMEX-TV Channel 34 in Los Angeles”.

— The Verge on LA Times description of Univision operations.

Eventually, the Univision asset was sold to a different group in early 2020. The details were as follows:

“Searchlight Capital Partners and ForgeLight acquired their majority stake in Univision from Madison Dearborn Partners, Providence Equity Partners, TPG, Thomas H. Lee Partners and Saban Capital Group — a.k.a. the “Sponsor Group.” Televisa will retain 36% ownership of Univision. “

Verge

As time progresses, the pandemic may further erode the value of the company to outside investors, but possibly increase Televisa’s sway over the unit. The controversial point here is that Televisa has historically taken a staunch anti-progressive stance in Mexico as it commonly supports the conservative status quo there.

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