Following the departure of Cesar Conde as president of Univision Networks last month, another senior executive at the company has also departed.
Luis Fernández, the network’s president of entertainment and Univision Studios since 2009, has left the company. He hasn’t announced future plans.
Now, all entertainment will fall under Alberto Ciurana, who has been president of programming and content at Univision for the past year.
As part of an internal restructuring, Cisco Suarez, SVP for Special Events, and the person in charge of producing major music-driven shows like the Latin Grammys, Premios Lo Nuestro and Premios Juventud, will report directly to Ciurana. So will Vanessa Pombo, the VP of Univision Studios. There are no plans to name a president of Univision Studios at this time.
The departure of Fernández is part of ongoing changes in Univision’s management structure which began after Conde’s departure last month. Ciurana, along with Isaac Lee, president of News, and Juan Carlos Rodriquez, president of Univision Deportes, are now reporting directly to Randy Falco, president and CEO of Univision Communications.
Earlier this month, Lee was also named CEO of Fusion, Univision’s recently launched news, pop culture and lifestyle television and digital network, which is set to launch online and on television later this month. In that position he will also report directly to Falco.
As for Ciurana, he joined Univision last year from Mexican media giant Televisa, where he had several roles over the years, most recently as VP of programming. Now, his growing importance within the company is aligned to what many see is the increasing participation of Televisa in Univision.
Back in 2010, Televisa extended its content licensing agreement with Univision through at least 2025, guaranteeing that Univision will continue to air the highly-rated, Televisa-produced soap operas that are key to its programming. At the time, Televisa said it would invest $1.2 billion in exchange for a minimum 5% stake in the company with the right to buy another 5% stake at market price within five years. The rest of the $1.2 billion investment would be convertible debt equivalent to shares of Univision, which is expected to announce an IPO next year.
Univision has been in an expansion kick that includes the launch of Fusion, a joint venture with ABC News, and the launch of sports and soap opera channels.
In the meantime, there has been plenty of action from competing media company Telemundo, which is now part of NBCUniversal and has been aggressive in producing new content and in driving its bilingual network, mun2. A big cherry on the cake are the rights to the Spanish-language broadcast of the upcoming 2018 and 2022 FIFA World Cups; rights that Univision had for the 2010 and 2014 World Cup. The agreements also give Telemundo the rights to the 2015 and 2019 Women’s World Cups and other international tournaments.
Earlier this month, Emilio Romano resigned as president of Telemundo, with a replacement yet to be named.
All operations are now being supervised by Joe Uva, who last April was named chairman of NBCUniversal's newly-created Hispanic Enterprises and Content division, whose mandate is to supervise all Hispanic content efforts across NBCUniversal. This includes Telemundo and mun2, the companys’ Spanish language networks, but it also includes Hispanic content efforts in English language mainstream channels like NBC and Bravo.
Uva, is the former chairman of Univision Communications.
By the end of the week, Univision continued to make changes in its operation. On Oct. 17, the company’s news division announced the departure of Sandra Thomas, senior director of local and affiliate news. Thomas had been with Univision for 14 years and in her current role since 2011.