Univision to Fire Up to 250 ‘in Response to Difficult, Challenging Times’
Spanish-language media giant Univision Communications, following a third-quarter loss of $30.5 million on revenues of $735 million, is expected to lay off between 200 and 250 editorial and business-side employees — nearly six percent of its workforce.
“To call this a bloodbath is a staggering understatement,” wrote Fusion news director Aleksander Chan on Twitter, referring to the cuts:
to call this a bloodbath is a staggering understatement
— aleksander chan (@aleksnotalex) November 16, 2016
Chan noted that he has lost at least three key staff members.
Isaac Lee, entertainment and news chief for Univision’s digital platform, told the Washington Post (WaPo) the layoffs, along with a planned restructuring, come “in response to difficult times, challenging times.”
“We need to position ourselves for the future,” he added.
WaPo describes the Spanish-language network’s move of firing people and restructuring as an effort to chase millennials and profits.
“As its traditional audience of Latino television watchers becomes older or cuts the cord, the company will also continue to chase what it sees as its savior: the English-language, digital, millennial audience,” notes the Washington Post.
Univision’s third-quarter net loss amounts to eight percent of the total revenue of $735 million.
In August, the network paid $135 million for media companies linked to Gawker Media Group, now known as Gizmodo Media Group, including websites such as The Onion, the A.V. Club, and The Root.
“As part of the restructuring, Fusion and the Root will join Gizmodo Media Group, the former Gawker sites: Deadspin, Jezebel, Gizmodo, Lifehacker, Kotaku and Jalopnik,” notes WaPo.
The Miami Herald reports that in an email memo sent to Univision staff on Wednesday morning, Lee wrote:
Unfortunately, as a result of some of these changes, and along with a broader streamlining of operations across Univision, some positions across FMG’s business, operations, and editorial teams are being eliminated.
Constantly adjusting our scale and our processes is a reality of the business we are all in, and is not unique to us. As you have all no doubt read in recent weeks, media companies of all sizes are having to better manage costs and staffing levels. For us, these necessary changes come as we look to strategically bring together several distinct digital media companies into one powerful and nimble digital publishing entity, with many distinct passion points for many distinct, growing groups of readers, listeners and viewers.
Univision is privately owned. Billionaire investor Haim Saban serves as the Spanish-language network’s chairman.