MIAMI — As much of the media industry’s C-Suiters, Wall Street investors and D.C. regulatory policy wonks had their sights on fireworks and celebrating America’s independence, the public relations team at America’s top Hispanic media company was thrown into overdrive, responding to a report made earlier in the day by The Wall Street Journal‘s website and printed in Friday’s editions.
Univision Communications late Wednesday (7/3) confirmed that its Board of Directors is reviewing strategic options for the company.
In a statement, Univision noted that it has engaged Morgan Stanley & Co. LLC, Moelis & Company LLC and LionTree LLC as financial advisors to assist with the process.
Univision’s Board of Directors spoke positively of the company in making the announcement.
“After a successful year under the leadership of our new management team, including a complete refocus on our core Spanish-language media business, it is abundantly clear that Univision’s strategic value has never been greater,” it said. “The U.S. Hispanic audience represents one of the very few certain growth opportunities in today’s media marketplace, and Univision is ideally positioned … As the last major independent broadcast media company in the U.S., a market where scale and strength matter, Univision has the fundamentals for continued growth on its own or with a partner – and after careful consideration, the Board and management team have concluded the time is right to explore strategic options.”
Univision CEO Vince Sadusky added additional commentary that positioned the Hispanic media company, which is struggling with its radio stations and was saddled with non-Hispanic online media company and blog network Gizmodo, as “strategically, operationally and financially strong, having refocused on serving our core consumers, as well as our advertising and distribution partners.”
He added, “Over the past year, Univision has gained momentum as it has divested non-core assets; strengthened programming; secured long-term distribution deals and valuable sports rights; increased investment in news, sports, local, and digital offerings; and materially strengthened its balance sheet. The current environment favors scale and cross-platform offerings, and we believe those major media companies that fail to recognize and capitalize on this unique opportunity in Spanish-language media will be left behind.”
That said, Univision notes “there can be no assurances as to the timing or outcome of this review.”
With that, Univision will likely have nothing more to say on the matter.
“Univision does not intend to disclose or comment on developments related to its review unless and until the Board has completed its review, or otherwise determined that further disclosure is appropriate or beneficial,” it said on Wednesday.
While Univision’s broadcast TV stations have performed strong season-to-date against NBCUniversal’s Telemundo, its biggest Spanish-language media rival, with respect to overall prime-time ratings, Univision Radio has seen Nielsen Audio ratings challenges against Spanish Broadcasting System (SBS) in both Los Angeles and Miami, and against Entercom in Dallas.
Univision’s strongest radio markets include San Diego, San Francisco-Oakland-San Jose and Chicago.