Univision Reacts To ‘A Significant Contraction of Business’


BOCA RATON, FLA. — On Tuesday (4/21), the nation’s biggest Hispanic media company offered an early look at its first quarter 2020 financial results. The details, which included a revelation that a big impairment charge tied to its radio stations is coming, were publicly dissemination.

What wasn’t distributed was news pertaining to furloughs and a company-wide restructure that soon-to-depart Univision Communications CEO Vince Sadusky says will “reduce our workforce across all divisions and functions.”

With Sadusky set for replacement by Wade Davis once a 64% buyout of Univision Holdings Inc. by Searchlight Capital Partners LP and ForgeLight LLC is complete, the ex-LIN Media CEO cheered the “problem solving and teamwork” seen across the organization.

He then bluntly shared the bad news facing Univision.

In an internal memo received late Tuesday by RBR+TVBR, Sadusky said that, “despite our strengths and recent growth momentum, over the past several weeks there has been a significant contraction of business amongst our advertisers that has a direct impact on our business.”

This shift, Sadusky added, “has made it necessary for us to more closely evaluate our cost structure – like many companies are doing in our industry and beyond.”

As such, Univision has joined its broadcasting industry brethren in initiating what Sadusky termed “difficult cost containment actions in order to protect the health of our business.”

The memo offers the biggest news last, after noting of executive pay cuts and a suspension of 401(k) plan matching: Company-wide permanent job losses are coming as part of a “company-wide restructure.”

Univision blames the COVID-19 pandemic’s economic wrath on the U.S. economy, not the coming change in ownership, for the job cuts, the number of which is not publicly known at this time.

Notification of job losses to those impacted by the cuts began Wednesday (4/22).

As part of the separation process, six months of paid COBRA health insurance is being offered by Univision.

“I know it is extremely difficult to lose valued employees, but these actions are necessary to allow us to be better positioned to successfully emerge from this global crisis,” Sadusky said.

Meanwhile, a temporary furlough program will see certain employee groups take unpaid time off ranging from one to four weeks.

Event cancellations and sports league suspensions will lead to the indefinite furlough of those involved in those Univision departments.

All furloughed staff will maintain health benefits.

According to a person familiar with the matter, full-time personnel who are union members were offered a buy out. This information could not be confirmed.