Univision signals exec succession

Co.'s SEC filing suggests changes

Is Univision’s Jerry Perenchio getting ready to hand over the reins to his U.S. Hispanic empire?

Univision — whose WXTV recently became the first Spanish-language station to top all New York stations in a primetime sweep — has filed an 8-K filing with the SEC suggesting that management changes are afoot.

The secretive Perenchio, in his early 70s, has been chairman and CEO of Univision since 1992. In February, he appointed former talent agent Ray Rodriguez prexy and chief operating officer — to the deep displeasure of Univision’s Mexican shareholder and major programming supplier Televisa.

Latter’s chairman and CEO Emilio Azcarraga Jean wants to acquire Univision and put himself atop the net co-founded by his father Emilio Azcarraga Milmo, Perenchio and Gustavo Cisneros.

The SEC filing reads: “On Sept. 21, 2005, Univision Communication’s Board of Directors authorized an amendment to the company’s bylaws … (that) permits but does not require the chairman of the board to be the chief executive officer of the company.  The company’s president may also be either the chief executive officer or the chief operating officer.”

Since Rodriguez is already the COO, he may very well become CEO in the not-so-distant future.

Univision and Televisa have hurled suits and countersuits against each other since Rodriguez was named, and Azcarraga Jean resigned from the Univision board in May.

Companies are bound by an ironclad programming supply pact that doesn’t expire until 2017.

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