Veteran exec's farewell comes as NBCU continues to reshape itself
Emilio Romano, the president of NBCUniversal’s Spanish-language Telemundo operations, is leaving the company. Joe Uva, chairman of Hispanic enterprises and content and Telemundo at NBCU, announced the departure to staff in an internal memo that was issued Friday.
Romano has led the Telemundo network, its 15 owned stations, news, sports and entertainment divisions, digital and international operations, sister cable network mun2, and its production studios since October, 2011.
Romano “has been instrumental in elevating the perception of Telemundo in the marketplace. Most recently, he has been a good partner to me,” Uva wrote in the memo. Uva, former CEO of Univision, joined NBCUniversal in April of 2013.
According to a person familiar with the matter, Romano and Uva experienced “some philosophic differences on the business direction and strategy and Emilio decided to step aside.”
Romano’s departure is the latest in a string of executive chair-switching at NBCUniversal as CEO Steve Burke continues to work his way through the company’s command structure after Comcast’s takeover of the conglom from General Electric in early 2011. In recent weeks, Burke has set Jeff Shell at the top of NBCU’s Universal film operations, nudging out Adam Fogelson; hired Cesar Conde from Univision to oversee international operations and business development; accepted veteran Lauren Zalaznick’s resignation; extended the contract of NBC Entertainment President Robert Greenblatt; and seen Bonnie Hammer, head of NBCU’s cable programming operations, firm up executive ranks in that unit.
Romano has been a key figure at Telemundo. He led a multi-million dollar investment in the station group to create more local relevant content across the U.S., 1,000 hours of additional local news programming and fostered a closer working relationship with NBC News. During his tenure, Telemundo secured the rights to what is largely viewed as the most important media property in the Spanish-language world, the FIFA World Cup, beginning with the Women’s World Cup in 2015 in Canada.
He has enjoyed an enviable corporate career. Between 2004 and 2007, he was CEO of Grupo Mexicana de Aviación, where he was responsible for the airline’s largest financial restructuring in its 87-year history. In 2001 ,he co-founded Border Group, LLC, and served as an advisor to several entertainment and media companies. He was on the board of Univision between 1995 and 1998, and in the late 1990’s, was Grupo Televisa’s director of mergers and acquisitions, and later vice president of international operations.