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Uva Named Univision’s Next CEO

Ad-agency and Turner Broadcasting System veteran Joe Uva will become CEO of Univision Communications after the sale of the top U.S. Hispanic broadcaster closes.

The 51-year-old Uva, who takes the job April 1, is well known in cable-network ranks, having spent 17 years at Turner, lastly as president of sales and marketing for Turner Entertainment Group. Since 2002 Uva has been CEO of Omnicom-owned ad agency OMD Worldwide.

Univision is in the process of being acquired for $12.3 billion by a consortium including Texas Pacific Group, Thomas H. Lee Partners and Haim Saban’s Saban Capital Group.

A. Jerrold Perenchio, the longtime controlling shareholder, is stepping down as CEO, as expected, after selling the company.

Challenges facing Uva include resolving a long-standing legal dispute with Grupo Televisa, the Mexican broadcaster that supplies key programming to Univision; executing a planned sale of Univision’s music business; and achieving growth targets the new owners will no doubt set in hopes of maximizing their return on investment.

Univision’s holdings include Univision Network, the most-watched Spanish-language broadcast-television network in the United States; general-interest Spanish-language broadcaster TeleFutura Network; Galavisión, a Spanish-language cable outlet; Univision Television Group, which owns and operates 62 television stations; and Univision Radio.

The consortium, called Broadcasting Media Partners, said in a release, “Univision has enormous growth opportunities ahead of it, and we are very pleased that an executive with Joe Uva’s broad media experience, leadership abilities and entrepreneurial qualities will be driving our efforts to build value and take the company to the next level.”

BMP continued, “Joe has a proven track record of achievement in a broad range of advertising-focused media businesses based on his effective strategy development, team building, sales skills, creative execution and new business expansion. While at OMD, he structured the industry’s first billion-dollar cross-media-buying contract and attracted a stable of new clients, while solidifying a global network and working to establish best practices around the world. He previously played a key role in the growth and development of Turner Broadcasting over a 17-year period. We are delighted to welcome him to Univision.”

Uva said in the release that he was “excited to have the opportunity to lead a premier company that has redefined the American media landscape and is so deeply embedded in the lives of its audience.”

He continued, “This is a company with tremendous strength that has fabulous growth opportunities. Its relationships with its consumers are unparalleled in the media industry. I very much look forward to working with Univision’s outstanding management team, programming and industry partners and leaders in the Hispanic community to build on the company’s legacy of innovation and success. At the same time, it will be difficult to leave OMD, where I have had a very positive experience. OMD is a strong company with a deep management team that will move forward without missing a beat.”