Over the years, I've been invited to the local Univision affiliate for political commentary. For the record, I've always been treated well and have many friends who work with Spanish media.
We learned this week that layoffs and furloughs are coming. We wish our friends the very best.
This is the word:
CEO Vince Sadusky notified employees via email that the company had to undergo restructuring due to the coronavirus pandemic and outlined those "containment actions."
Among them, company-wide layoffs and furloughs — anywhere from one to four weeks and likely longer for people working in the sports division, executive pay cuts and suspension of 401K matching contributions.
When asked about the announced restructuring plans that have rattled staffers, the company issued this statement:
"Despite Univision's strengths and recent growth momentum, the coronavirus pandemic has caused a significant contraction of business amongst our advertisers that has a direct impact on our business. While we have made every effort to protect jobs during this time, due to these economic circumstances, we have made the difficult decision to take a number of cost containment actions across the company including restructuring our teams and reducing our workforce across all divisions and functions. We believe these actions will help us emerge from this global health crisis in the best and strongest position possible so we can continue to deliver essential, uninterrupted content to our loyal viewers and continue serving the Hispanic community."
Univision recently agreed to sell 64% to Searchlight Capital Partners and ForgeLight LLC.
The current economic situation broke the camel's back, as they say.
However, I spoke with a friend before the coronavirus, and he feared that layoffs were coming.
He told me on the phone that the new ownership wanted to go more into "streaming" to attract the younger viewers switching to English-speaking networks. He lamented that too many of their viewers were older.
No matter what, my best to the staff, and let's hope they can move on to other opportunities.
PS You can listen to my show (Canto Talk) and follow me on Twitter.