Univision Hatchet Job
Yesterday Univision announced it was laying off 250 employees, which represents a significant 7% of its workforce. The move is the Hispanic broadcaster’s attempt to completely reset itself with a new “go-forward strategy” and a rededication to its core mission of serving the US Hispanic community. To observers the firings are a culmination of several missteps over the years.
For some historical perspective Univision had enjoyed two decades as the dominant domestic Hispanic broadcaster in both radio and TV. While there are other competitors, Uni’s massive footprint made them a must-buy for any brand looking to reach US Hispanics. However, within the last five years digital publishers who weren’t necessarily Spanish Language endemic found ways to deliver Hispanic content that was just as good if not better that Univision. This has eroded the company’s audience base and revenue. As a counterpunch Univision tried to diversify its portfolio and get more digital at the same time. They purchased non-Hispanic publishers such as The Onion and Gizmodo. Neither of these plays turned out well, and Uni is now trying to sell these pubs at a loss.
That brings us to yesterday, where the once mighty king of Hispanic media is slashing costs by firing hundreds, trying to reset its business strategy, and looking for a new path forward. I’m sure yesterday was not the end of the pain for Univision.