×
You will be redirected back to your article in seconds

Univision Extends Randy Falco as CEO, Delivers Strong Q3 Earnings

Randy Falco has set a two-year extension to remain Univision Communications president and CEO through January 2020.

Falco has been at the helm of the Spanish-language media giant since 2011. The company has significantly expanded and diversified its TV and digital operations on his watch.

News of Falco’s extension came as Univision reported robust gains for the third quarter, with earnings of $104 million compared to a prior year loss of $30.5 million.

Univision’s Q3 revenue increased 5.9% to $778.2 million as pro forma core advertising revenue dipped 8.7%, partially as a result of the hurricanes that impacted Houston, Miami and Puerto Rico. All its markets are now operational except for Puerto Rico, which could see losses of up to $10 million, said Falco.

Non-ad revenue, including subscriber fee, content licensing and other contractual revenue, grew 20.1%.

Univision chairman Haim Saban credited Falco with “steadily improving Univision’s financial performance and significantly improving the balance sheet by paying down debt.” He praised Falco’s drive to extend Univision’s reach into English-language content and his “authentic and unwavering commitment to the U.S. Hispanic community, which has amplified (Univision’s) voice and purpose as an advocate for Hispanic America, especially during difficult times for our nation.”

On the earnings call with analysts, Falco also noted Univision’s debt-reduction efforts. “We continued to reduce our debt and improve our capital structure, highlighted by our $721 million net debt reduction year to date,” said Falco.

During the past few years, Univision has acquired a host of digital content properties, including the Root, the Onion, Deadspin, Jezebel, Gizmodo, the A.V. Club, and Jalopnik. It also launched the Fusion cabler and partnered with filmmaker Robert Rodriguez on the El Rey Network.

But Univision has had some struggles of late. The core broadcast network has seen its ratings dominance in primetime steadily chipped away by rival Telemundo, which has prospered thanks to increased investment in programming and sports rights from parent NBCUniversal.

Univision has been in the process of revamping its entertainment strategy, adding three original content sources — StoryHouse, W Studios and Univision Studios — to complement programming from its long-time supplier, Mexico’s Televisa. Programming from Televisa is also undergoing a sea change as Univision’s Chief Content Officer Isaac Lee and his team began to oversee both Televisa and Univision programming in January. Emilio Azcarraga Jean, who ran the family business founded by his father for 20 years, will resign at the year’s end although he remains as chairman of the board and a majority shareholder of Televisa.

Thanks to the “El Chapo” series from its premium content division StoryHouse, Univision has seen double-digit increases on Sunday night audiences, according to Falco.

“Going forward, we are very focused on building drama and comedy franchises that extend over multiple seasons, both with Televisa content as well as through our own studios,” he said in a conference call with investors, adding: “Our sports and news programming continue to fire on all cylinders; we reinforced our position as the home of soccer in the U.S. with the successful Gold Cup tournament and launch of the new Liga MX season.”

Univision had also been pursuing an initial public offering that has been delayed more than once during the past few years. Of late there has been speculation about Televisa taking a larger stake possibly in partnership with media mogul John Malone. Saban Group acquired Univision with a group of private equity giants, including Providence Equity and TPG, for $11 billion in 2006.

More TV

  • OG Review

    Review: 'O.G.' on HBO

    Jeffrey Wright, the most compelling reason to watch HBO’s new film “O.G.,” is among television’s best actors at switching between codes or manners of being. On “Westworld,” his timeline-toggling android swaps personae so delicately that his performance gains in resonance when recalled in retrospect. (Perhaps that’s why Wright has been so oddly underrated through the [...]

  • Nahnatchka Khan Writers Room

    Nahnatchka Khan Exits 20th Century Fox TV for Overall Deal at Universal

    Nahnatchka Khan has signed a four-year overall deal at Universal Television. The deal brings an end to the decade-plus Khan and her Fierce Baby Productions banner spent at 20th Century Fox Television. The move will see Khan exit from her role as showrunner on ABC comedy “Fresh Off the Boat,” which she also created. The [...]

  • David Ajala

    'Nightflyers' Star David Ajala Joins CBS Drama Pilot 'Under the Bridge'

    David Ajala has been cast in a lead role in the CBS drama pilot “Under the Bridge,” Variety has learned. In the project, when a scandal rocks the medical practice she runs with her husband and their friends, a surgeon rises to the occasion and takes the lead in trying to mend both the practice and [...]

  • A Man Walks Into the Cnn

    CNN Puts Former Sessions Aide in Newsroom Role

    Sarah Isgur Flores, a press aide to former US Attorney General Jeff Sessions, has been hired to help coordinate political coverage for CNN, a move that generated some pushback on social media Tuesday. Politico previously reported the CNN hire. Flores in the past has criticized CNN coverage. She will be just the latest political operative [...]

  • Gerald Blum, Inspiration for 'WKRP In

    Gerald Blum, Inspiration for 'Big Guy' Carlson on 'WKRP in Cincinnati,' Dies at 86

    Gerald “Jerry” Blum, the inspiration for the character of radio station general manager Art “Big Guy” Carlson on the long-running TV sitcom “WKRP in Cincinnati,” died Saturday at 86. The Atlanta radio veteran was affectionately transformed into the fictional Carlson by veteran comic actor Gordon Jump on “WKRP,” which ran for four seasons on CBS [...]

  • Arrested Development Season 5 review

    TV News Roundup: 'Arrested Development' Sets Season 5 Return Date at Netflix

    In today’s TV news roundup, the second half of “Arrested Development” season five gets a release date and Netflix announces the voice cast for “Green Eggs and Ham.” CASTING Netflix has announced the ensemble voice cast for the upcoming “Green Eggs and Ham” series executive produced by Ellen DeGeneres and based on the Dr. Seuss book. [...]

  • LA Rams running back Todd Gurley

    Live+7 Ratings for Week of Jan. 28: Super Bowl LIII Clobbers Competition

    In a shock to no one, the 2019 Super Bowl handily defeated all of its broadcast competition in the Live+7 numbers for the week of Jan. 28. Live sports typically receive virtually no lift in delayed viewing, and Super Bowl LIII was no exception. The game did, however, rise from a 31.1 rating in adults [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content