October 26th, 2010
Deconstructing Univision

At the suggestion of one of our readers who posted a recent comment asking “A greater question for hispanics should be, who owns Univision, and how are programming decisions made?”  I’ve compiled a bullet list of pertinent information.

First, some context. The comment came a propos of a piece about how the Univisioin Spanish language network is poised to become the largest television network in the country; larger than it’s English language rivals ABC, CBS and NBC.

The reader, JJ Martinez, has a point.

We aim to please.

  • Univision is owned by by Broadcasting Media Partners Inc., an investor group that  includes Madison Dearborn Partners, Providence Equity Partners, TPG, Thomas H. Lee Partners, and Saban Capital Group. (So, who are these guys? For what it’s worth, the links for each of the partners are Wikipedia articles. Have at it.)
  • BMP purchased Univision in March of 2007 for a reported $12.7 billion.
  • That’s abut all that’s reported. Bloomberg weekly lists no board of directors or key executives for Univision. It’s a private company, they can do that.
  • Univision itself does list a board of diorectors. You can find the list HERE, along with a list of its executive officers.
  • The Univision Television Group owns and operates 19 full-power and seven low-power stations in the US. You can find a list of those stations HERE.
  • While its past ownership is not indicative of its present tendencies, there is the conventional wisdom that past is prologue. So, a little about its immediate past.
  • Univision’s immediate past chairman was Jerrold Perenchio. Here’s what had to say about him:  Uniovision (is) controlled by non-Hispanic shareholders who are also major Republican donors. In the 2000 and 2002 cycles, Perenchio and his family gave $1.1 million to Republicans and $22,000 to Democrats.
  • Who makes the programming decisions? One would imagine that  Univision CEO Joe Uva has something to do with that. But a list of key programming decision makers is not readily available.

On the other hand, this is the Internet. So, if any readers have information that can enlighten our understanding of the soon to be largest television network in the US, please feel free to share.


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