Univision formally announces Vincent Sadusky as CEO

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Univision Communications Inc. announced on Wednesday that Vincent Sadusky will be its next chief executive officer, taking over the Spanish-language media giant as it grapples with difficult times.

Sadusky is a veteran of the Hispanic-media world, having previously worked for Telemundo, Univision's main rival.

"Vince is distinctly qualified to lead UCI through the next phase of its growth, given his impressive track record of leadership, vision, deep industry experience and relationships," Haim Saban, chairman of Univision's board of directors,said in a statement. "This is a unique moment for UCI, and we believe that we have the right strategy and team in place to execute on the opportunities in front of us. On behalf of the entire Board, we look forward to working with Vince to achieve great success for UCI."

Starting on Friday, Sadusky will take the CEO reins over from Randy Falco, who announced in March that he plans to retire by the end of the year. Falco's announcement came as a surprise because the Univision board had just renewed his contract through 2020 a few months earlier.

"I know it was only a few months after I signed a new two-year deal, but I felt that at age 65 I wanted to end my time as CEO earlier than planned," he said at the time. Falco will stay as an adviser to Univision through the end of the year.

In his statement on Wednesday, Saban praised Falco's eight years with Univision, transforming it "into a modern media organization with a diverse portfolio of assets, sterling brands and content that audiences and marketers want, backed by strong earnings growth, a significantly improved balance sheet and a team of motivated and purpose-driven employees."

In his own statement, Falco said on Wednesday that leading Univision "has been one of the most personally and professionally rewarding experiences of my life."

"So much has changed -- and will continue to change -- in the media landscape but through it all one thing remains true: no other media company serves and supports Hispanic America like UCI, something that is more important than ever in our world today," he said. "I believe wholeheartedly in UCI's mission and vision and am confident that the Company will remain on a path for continued success with Vince leading the way."

Bloomberg was the first to report last week that Univision was planning to name Sadusky as CEO.

Earlier this month, the company announced an 18% drop in first quarter profits from the year before, though it remains a ratings giant.

At around the same time Falco announced his planned retirement, Univision also said it was calling off a long-planned public offering and conducting a review of the business that could lead to cost cuts, the Wall Street Journal reported at the time.

A source with knowledge of the company and its board said that some of the board members were "disappointed" in Falco and tasked him with cutting costs and brought in the Boston Consulting Group to help him do so.

"Slashing and burning," the source said. "They're cutting an enormous amount of money out of the television and digital organization. I've never seen anything like it."

In March, Saban refuted reports that the board was unhappy with Falco, saying that the board "reluctantly agreed to Randy's wishes" to retire early, adding "we could not be more pleased with his performance."

The next question is whether Sadusky will oversee Univision as it considers a possible sale. In his last job as CEO of Media General, Sadusky oversaw the sale of the company to Nexstar Broadcasting Group in 2016.

In a statement on Wednesday, Sadusky said he is "eager" to work with Univision's "talented team to enhance the Company's leadership position and underscore its crucial role as a source of news and information."

"Over the last few months, [Univision] has taken a number of steps to evolve and thrive in today's rapidly changing media environment and I am committed to ensuring the Company is in the best position possible to serve its audiences for decades to come," he said.

The Univision Network is a CNN newsgathering partner.

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