nation's leading Spanish-language television networks, Univision
and Telemundo, continue to pay the price for doubling and tripling
down on pushing unfettered immigration policies, and declining
numbers have now led to layoffs and more.
how Daniel Shoer Roth chronicled the latest wave of layoffs for
the Miami Herald:
fears, frustrations, intrigue and painful farewells — they are
the ingredients of any good telenovela. But on Friday, those
emotions broke free from the land of fiction and into the lives
of the employees of the main Spanish language television
networks in the United States as layoffs and restructuring hit
both companies and their Miami offices.
Telemundo, more than 150 employees were laid off. At
Univision, the number was about 20, though insiders
say more may be coming. The number of layoffs does not reach the
“mass layoff” threshold that would require the businesses to
file Warn Notices with the state of Florida. Notices are
required when a business lays off one-third of its personnel.
reigns as the
industry falters and young
bilingual Hispanics choose English television on demand.
The crisis even
has top management baffled. Randy Falco, the CEO of
Spanish-language television giant Univision Communications,
unexpectedly announced his retirement last week — just four
months after the company renewed his contract.
announced retirement follows the resignation of CFO Frank
López-Balboa, who left in the aftermath of yet another failed IPO
for Univision. Univision's future rode on this failed IPO until
the Obama administration granted an FCC rule change that allowed
Mexican media giant Televisa to increase its stake in the network.
But the IPO was still necessary in order to allow its current
shareholder group, led by Executive Chairman Haim Saban, to cut
their losses and bail out.
is on safer footing as a Comcast subsidiary, but is still exposed
to losses and uncertainty due to a declining viewer universe that
it must share with Univision.
It is the Los
Angeles Times that hits the nail on
the head here, when explaining the real reasons why viewership is
declining at our domestic Spanish-language networks.
the picture for Univision's owners has been a change in
demographics and President Trump's stand on immigration. The
president has been hostile to immigrants, including those from
Mexico who have long made up a large part of Univision's
Trump administration's crack-down on immigrants — and the
promise of a border wall — has discouraged new arrivals.
long fueled the audience for Univision's television networks and
radio stations. But growth in the Latino population increasingly
has come from people born in the U.S. who are fluent in English
and watch major television networks — not just the
long pointed out that the preservation of a broken immigration
system with a porous border is critical to the survival of these
networks. In fact, here's Univision news anchor Jorge Ramos making
that very argument almost three years ago:
JORGE RAMOS: I think the
future of Spanish-language media is assured for decades,
simply, for a very simple reason: In spite of the
fact that the majority of the growth within the Hispanic
community is coming from people being born here, we
still have one to two million immigrants, legally and
illegally coming in every single year. Most
of them speak Spanish. So, therefore, we have a market that is
growing and growing.
said, that was three years ago. But a recent interview with Al
Día suggests that Ramos still
doesn't get it:
will continue to be an audience for Spanish language news as
long as immigrants from Latin America continue to enter the
country in the numbers that they do. The
longtime anchor said he’s confident that this will remain the
case for the next 25 years or so, but it may be a different
story in 50 to 75 years.
uncertainty has roiled this media market - and yet they refuse to
acknowledge that or make adjustments in order to serve the
audience that is in place. What this financial turmoil reveals is what MRC
Latino has been saying since its inception - that
so long as the Spanish-language networks (Telemundo still less so
than Univision) continue to operate with a business-model bias
towards driving practically unrestrainted immigration and other
left-wing policies at all costs, they will continue to falter and
regarding Univision: At what point does the architect of the
network's radicalization and decline and principal overseer of the
newscasts, telenovelas and
other shows that fewer people seem to want to see - Chief Content
Officer Isaac Lee - begin to bear responsibility for Univision's