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Univision Communications Inc. (UCI)

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What: Univision Communications Inc. (UCI) has promoted Tonia O’Connor to Chief Revenue Officer (CRO), effective immediately. She will report to Randy Falco, President and Chief Executive Officer.
Why it matters: O’Connor will be in charge of naming a successor to Keith Turner, UCI’s President of Advertising Sales & Marketing, and to lead a seamless transition for the advertising sales & marketing team.

 

Univision Communications Inc. (UCI) announced that Tonia O’Connor has been promoted to the newly-created role of Chief Revenue Officer (CRO), effective immediately. O’Connor will continue to report to Randy Falco, President and Chief Executive Officer, and remain based in New York.

Under O’Connor’s leadership, UCI will also develop opportunities that bring scale to new formats, while advancing consumer engagement and creating a more effective overall experience for marketers and distributors.

O’Connor commented, “In this consumer age of media, audience insights and behavior are – more than ever – critical ingredients in the success of both our content and our partners.  UCI has been the undisputed leader for more than 50 years in delivering the highly-coveted, young and diverse American audience.  That makes us some of the best storytellers on the planet with an incredibly loyal audience – from Univision News to La Doble Vida de Estela Carrillo to Liga MX.  I am excited to lead our groundbreaking approach with an integrated distribution and advertising sales strategy, which will provide tremendous opportunities for our clients to leverage the full value of our enterprise. I look forward to working with my colleagues to continue building UCI’s path as an industry leader.”

Among O’Connor’s first actions as CRO will be to appoint a successor to Keith Turner, UCI’s President of Advertising Sales & Marketing, who recently announced his plans to retire at the end of 2017, and to lead a seamless transition for the advertising sales & marketing team.

Since joining the company as executive vice president of Distribution Sales and Marketing in January 2008, O’Connor has been repeatedly promoted to roles of increasing seniority and has led the Company’s strategy to drive UCI’s content distribution efforts across all screens, including online and mobile.  During her tenure with UCI, O’Connor led the creation of the Company’s first over the top English-language digital network, and the Univision Creator Network; played a key role in the expansion of UCI’s portfolio from three networks to 17 broadcast, cable and digital networks and partnerships; and, most recently, led the launch of UCI’s direct to consumer subscription video service, Univision NOW.

Prior to joining UCI, O’Connor spent more than a decade with Gemstar-TV Guide, where she served in a number of roles, including as executive vice president of distribution.  O’Connor is a Director on the Board of El Rey Network, and fuboTV, a live streaming TV service. She is active in industry organizations and currently serves as the Chairman on the Dean’s Advisory Board at the S.I. Newhouse School of Public Communications at Syracuse University.

“This new executive position not only recognizes the extraordinary track record of impact Tonia has made – and will continue to make – on our Company, but it also represents an important shift in the way we are now approaching our business,” Falco said. “By adopting a total revenue strategy, we will be able to better partner with our clients to create consumer-first, multi-platform solutions and invest in our content, platforms and insights with improved targeting and servicing of our audience.”

Falco continued, “Tonia is a fearless leader with a keen ability to anticipate, influence and adapt to our rapidly changing industry, and she is uniquely qualified to help drive our next phase of growth at a pace that tracks with the convergence of the media and technology worlds.  Since joining UCI, Tonia has led a highly-profitable content distribution strategy that has embraced technology and increased the relevancy of our programming in a multi-screen world.”

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What:Univision Communications Inc. (UCI) announced that Keith Turner, president of Advertising Sales & Marketing, will retire at the end of the year.
Why it matters: The Company will announce leadership transition plans in the coming weeks.

Univision Communications Inc. (UCI), the leading media company serving Hispanic America, announced that Keith Turner, president of Advertising Sales & Marketing, will retire at the end of the year. The Company will announce leadership transition plans in the coming weeks.

Turner will retire after an extraordinary career in the media industry that has spanned more than 40 years across some of the strongest brands in the sector. He has been an integral member of the UCI team since 2012, having successfully strengthened the Company’s advertising sales team, activated more than 600 new brands across all of UCI’s platforms, and continued to build upon the Company’s unrivaled success as the leading media company serving Hispanic America. Among his many accolades, Turner was inducted into the Broadcasting & Cable Hall of Fame, named among the Adweek 50, a list of the top vital leaders in Tech, Media and Marketing, and honored by The National Kidney Foundation with the Visionary Leader Award.

“Keith is a uniquely talented individual who has been a friend and an inspiring leader to all who have had the opportunity to work with him,” said Randy Falco, president and CEO of UCI. “He is a devoted promoter of the UCI brand and is responsible for breaking many boundaries in expanding our partnerships over the last five years. We are immensely grateful for his contributions to our success.  I know that I speak for the entire UCI family in wishing Keith the very best as he prepares for his retirement at the end of this year.”

Turner commented, “It has been a pleasure and privilege to work alongside Randy and the rest of the superb Univision team for the past five years and I will leave here feeling proud of all that we’ve accomplished together.  This is an extraordinary organization with a leading market position and loyal audience that is unmatched in the industry.”

Prior to joining UCI, Turner served as the senior vice president of Media Sales and Sponsorship at the NFL. In that role, Turner oversaw the NFL sponsorship business, as well as advertising sales for all NFL media platforms, including NFL Network, NFL.com, and NFL Mobile. Before transitioning to NFL, Turner spent more than 20 years at NBC, where he held various roles of increasing seniority, including president of Sales and Marketing, senior vice president of Olympic and Sports Sales, vice president of Olympic and Sports Sales, and vice president of Sport Sales, among other positions. Before NBC, he was an account executive for CBS. Turner began his career at Grey Advertising.

 

What: Univision Communications Inc. (UCI) has reached an agreement with ABC to become the sole owner of Fusion. It will integrate Fusion into a newly formed Fusion Media Group, which will also include The Onion, The Root, Flama, Univision Digital, Univision Music and El Rey
Why it matters: This is a move of Univision to strengthen its offering for Millennials and the American Mainstream as its traditional Spanish-language offerings, while very large, are not growing at a a rapid pace.  Fusion did not fulfill the rating and engagement expectations it had when Univision launched it together with ABC two years ago.  Univision is also trying to make itself attractive as it intends to go public (IPO).

RXX6T990_400x400 U4xpomT6_400x400Univision Communications  announced it will be forming the Fusion Media Group (FMG). FMG intends to serve as the multi-platform destination for the new, rising American mainstream.
In a related step, Univision has reached an agreement with ABC to become the sole owner of Fusion, the joint venture the two companies launched in October 2013.
Effective immediately, UCI will take over ABC’s role in handling distribution and ad sales functions for Fusion’s multi-platform network and will have editorial control. The transition of ownership will happen once the transaction is completed, which is expected to be as soon as reasonably practical. Terms of the transaction are not being disclosed.

Unmet Expectations

Fusion, the two and a half-year old network was expected to be ABC News’s answer to a 24-hour cable channel, while giving Univision access to the English-language market. Despite large investments (including the hiring of renowned journalists), Fusion has not been able to gain substantial traction among its target audience. According to Univision, it currently reaches approximately 27 million people each month across all platforms, and in 2015 its website traffic grew over 305% (10 million monthly uniques).
It was widely known among industry insiders that ABC/Disney wanted to get out of Fusion.  One reason for ABC/Disney’s loss of interest in Fusion may be also related to Disney’s US$ 400 million investment in Vice Media,  the digital and cable powerhouse that targets a similar demographic to Fusion.

It was widely known among industry insiders that Disney wanted to get out of Fusion.

Other FMG Brands

Univision has grown a collection of brands that include its interests in Fusion and El Rey as well as The Root, The Onion, A.V. Club, Clickhole, Starwipe, Flama, Univision Digital and Univision Music. All these assets are now part of The Fusion Media Group (FMG).  According to Univision, this move further exemplifies the company’s commitment to serve multicultural audiences across platforms and languages. Fusion has a weekly programming block on UniMás, UCI’s second broadcast network, and recently expanded its reach through an agreement with HBO to broadcast a new series, “Outpost”, and a one-hour special helmed by Univision and Fusion News Anchor, Jorge Ramos.

“This is an important time for UCI as we continue to evolve as a company to meet and exceed the demands of the cross-cultural influencers that we serve. Fully integrating Fusion into our portfolio closely aligns with our desire to engage with our growing audience wherever they are, whenever they want and in their language of preference,” said Randy Falco, president and CEO, Univision Communications.

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What: Univision Deportes, the multimedia sports division of Univision Communications Inc. (UCI), has acquired from UEFA (Union of European Football Associations) the U.S. Spanish-language broadcast rights to all UEFA national team competitions from 2018 to 2022.
Why it matters: The deal is a landmark for both UEFA and Univision Deportes marking the most extensive access to UEFA competitions on broadcast television in Spanish in the United States.

489bjVwC_400x400 ViSBGjO3_400x400Univision Deportes, the multimedia sports division of Univision Communications Inc. (UCI) that also includes UDN, the No. 1 Spanish-language sports network, has announced that it has acquired from UEFA (Union of European Football Associations) the exclusive U.S. Spanish-language broadcast rights to all UEFA national team competitions from 2018 to 2022.  This first-of-its-kind centralized deal will make Univision Deportes the Spanish-language home of European national team soccer in the U.S.

The rights include the UEFA EURO 2020™, UEFA Nations League, UEFA Nations League Final Four and the European Qualifiers to the UEFA EURO 2020™ as well as the European Qualifiers to the 2022 FIFA World Cup™. Univision Deportes will be airing the matches across the portfolio of networks including UDN, Univision Network, UniMás, Galavision and will be streaming the properties via the Univision Deportes app.

Under the new rights deal, Univision Deportes will air multiple live matches on every match-day, daily match highlights on existing Univision Deportes programming and at least one match per kick-off slot for the UEFA Nations League, UEFA Nations League Final Four, the European Qualifiers to UEFA EURO 2020™ and the European Qualifiers to the 2022 FIFA World Cup™.  For the UEFA EURO 2020™, the rights deal includes airing of all matches live and daily match highlights on existing Univision Deportes programming. Univision Deportes will also have exclusive rights to live streaming and digital content.

“This new rights deal with UEFA is a part of our continued commitment to delivering the most comprehensive soccer coverage in the U.S.,” said Juan Carlos Rodriguez, president of Univision Deportes. “Univision Deportes is the home of soccer 365-days per year and this partnership with UEFA is part of our strategy to grow our portfolio and acquire the rights to the teams and leagues that our soccer fans care about most. With this new agreement, Univision Deportes will continue to have the best soccer in the Americas and now the best soccer in Europe.”

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