By MEG JAMES MAY 22, 2018 | 7:00 PM
Univision Communications is poised to name industry veteran Vincent Sadusky as its chief executive, in the latest sign of turmoil at the Spanish-language broadcasting company.
Vincent Sadusky is a graduate of that bastion of Mexican-American culture, Penn State. (Sadusky is no relation, I presume, to Linebacker U’s linebacker coach Jerry Sandusky.)
… It comes less than three months after the TV company announced that its longtime chief, Randy Falco, would retire by year’s end — even though the company had just extended Falco’s employment contract to 2020. …
Univision has been reeling in recent months. In April it eliminated more than 150 positions that cut deep within its troubled digital arm, Fusion Media Group.
Once the dominant Spanish-language media giant, Univision has struggled to remain relevant among Spanish-speaking audiences and it has faced growing competition from Telemundo.
Univision has long counted on new immigrants from Mexico to replenish its audience, but immigration has slowed considerably during the last six years. Now, a majority of Latinos are born in the U.S. and are fluent in English, making them less reliant on Spanish-language TV and radio stations for their news and entertainment. …
Univision is owned by a consortium of private equity owners and Los Angeles billionaire Haim Saban who bought the Spanish-language media company in 2007 for more than $13 billion — a leveraged buyout at the top of the market that left the company drowning in debt. …
In January, 2016, Univision acquired the Onion satirical site, an unusual fit for a company that prides itself as a news authority. About six months later it spent $135 million to buy Gawker Media brands, and promptly shut down the flagship Gawker website because of legal liabilities. It operated Gawker’s other sites, including Deadspin, Gizmodo and Jezebel — but advertising did not materialize.
Special events, such as a well-publicized concert at the U.S.-Mexico border, fizzled.