Univision Laying Off More Than 200 Staffers
Univision is eliminating between 200 and 250 jobs as rival Telemundo narrows the Spanish-language ratings gap on TV and the company works to manage the digital assets it has been buying.
The job cuts, which amount to about 6% of the company’s workforce, come after the company reported a third quarter loss of $30.5 million as revenue decreased 8.3% to $735 million. The company has been looking to go pubic, but its plans for an initial public offering have been delayed.
“We operate in a fast changing and dynamic industry and we regularly make adjustments to ensure we are nimble and best positioned to continue investing in Univision’s growth,” the company said in a statement. “As part of a broader effort to streamline operations, we eliminated a number of positions in various areas of the Company. Over the next several months, we will be adding new positions to support strategic growth areas that will allow us to be better poised to serve our diverse audiences across platforms and meet the needs of our partners.”
Univision has been buying digital assets to tap into millennial audiences. Recent purchases include The Onion, The Root, and most recently Gawker Media, which was acquired for $135 million and renamed Gizmodo Media Group. It also bought the 50% of the Fusion cable network it didn’t own from Disney earlier this year.
Editorial for Fusion’s websites and The Root are being incorporated into Gizmodo Media Group.
“Unfortunately, as a result of some of these changes, and along with a broader streaming of operations across Univision, some positions across [Fusion Media Group’s] business, operations, and editorial teams are being eliminated” said Isaac Lee, head of digital entertainment and news at Univision, in a memo to staffers.
“Constantly adjusting our scale and our processes is a reality of the business we are all in, and is not unique to us,” Lee said in the memo. “As you have all no doubt read in recent weeks, media companies of all sizes are having to better manage costs and staffing levels. For us, these necessary changes come as we look to strategically bring together several distinct digital media companies into one powerful and nimble digital publishing entity, with many distinct passion points for many distinct, growing groups of readers, listeners and viewers."
Lee’s memo also talked about the future of the Fusion TV network.
“We’ve been having active conversations about the role the Fusion TV network will play next year, including strengthening and expanding our programming strategy by creating programming around each of the well-known and recognized FMG digital brands,” he said.
Lee said Fusion had a series in development with The A.V. Club and is interested in moving online brands including—Jalopnik, Jezebel, Lifehacker and Gizmodo—into television.
At the same time, the company will focus on adding video to its websites.
“Video is core to our business—and increasingly vital to both our readers and audiences—so we plan to scale and ramp up video production across all 11 sites. We are going to streamline our video production operations across FMG, allowing us to leverage shared expertise while crafting editorial strategies that fit each site’s distinct voice,” Lee’s memo said.
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Jon has been business editor of Broadcasting+Cable since 2010. He focuses on revenue-generating activities, including advertising and distribution, as well as executive intrigue and merger and acquisition activity. Just about any story is fair game, if a dollar sign can make its way into the article. Before B+C, Jon covered the industry for TVWeek, Cable World, Electronic Media, Advertising Age and The New York Post. A native New Yorker, Jon is hiding in plain sight in the suburbs of Chicago.