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Falco on Trump, Univision’s Finances and Digital Moves

Related: The Next Act of Univision Story: A Comeback?

Univision CEO Randy Falco spoke with B&C business editor Jon Lafayette about the state of the company. An edited transcript follows.

How have Univision's ratings issues affected its finances?
Our earnings have grown every year over the last six years and we’re very concentrated on paying down debt. Through the first three quarters of 2016 we’ve already paid down debt pretty significantly, over $300 million. I feel great about where we finished in the fourth quarter. We’ve been able to work through very difficult times in terms of the ratings declines, but we’re fighting our way through it.

Univision has bought digital assets, including the Onion, the Root and Gawker. What's the strategy?
You have to face the reality that a lot of the linear advertising is starting to go to digital. The most important thing in media is to be relevant to your audience. We want to make sure we continue to be relevant to our audience, both Spanish and English. We have about 92 million unique users every month. That’s bigger than Buzzfeed and Vice and Vox and everyone else.

In 2015, Univision planned an IPO that valued the company at $20 billion. Where does that stand?
I can’t speak to that because we have six owners here who have to figure out what they want to do with the asset. I think multiples in the industry went down over the last couple of years. We’ll see if they start to come back. It seems like they are, which would be good for us.

How did your meeting with President Trump go before his inauguration?
We had a very good conversation. He is willing to come on Univision and engage with our audience. I told him I thought that was really important because our audience deserves access to him regardless of whether they agree or disagree with him. He’s the president of the United States and his policies are going to affect this community and they deserve to hear it straight from him.