Since 1992, when he took the money he made from selling a movie-theater chain and bought Univision, Jerry Perenchio has been the face of the United States' dominant Spanish-language broadcaster. Even after he took the network and station group public in 1996, he engineered a special stock structure that gave him voting control of the company.
But with Univision's approximately $13.7 billion sale last year to a private equity collaboration that includes another non-Hispanic media magnate, Haim Saban, Mr. Perenchio is finally severing his ties to Univision. On February 20, the new owners – Madison Dearborn Partners, Providence Equity Partners, Texas Pacific Group, Thomas H. Lee Partners, and Saban Capital Group – announced that New York ad man Joe Uva would helm the new privately held Univision.
Mr. Uva, 51, comes from OMD Worldwide, an Omnicom company, and was expected to assume control of Univision on April 1. Mr. Uva spent the last five years as president and CEO of OMD, and spent the 17 years prior at Turner Broadcasting System, where he had been president of sales and marketing for Turner Entertainment Group since 1996.
In its annual report, Univision said it will keep most of the rest of its existing management team intact. COO and President Ray Rodriguez, CFO Andrew Hobson, Vice-Chairman Robert Cahill, and General Counsel Douglas Kranwinkle had their contracts extended until the end of 2009.
Currently Los Angeles-based, Univision's holdings include the Univision TV network; the TeleFutura Network; Galavision, a Spanish-language cable network; Univision Television Group, which owns and operates 62 TV stations; Univision Radio, which owns or operates 73 radio stations; Univision Music Group; and Univision Online.
The network has taken its lumps lately. Standard & Poors has rated its heavily leveraged debt at junk status, while the Federal Communications Commission in February fined it $24 million for classifying a teen-themed telenovela as federally mandated children's programming.
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