Don Browne, a long-time NBC executive and president of NBC Universal's Spanish-language network Telemundo Communications Group since 2005, is retiring June 3. The departure of Mr. Browne, who turns 68 next month but had recently renewed his contract, comes just weeks after Comcast finalized its acquisition of NBC Universal and Lauren Zalaznick took over responsibility for the Telemundo group.
Ms. Zalaznick, chairman of NBC Universal Entertainment & Digital Networks and Integrated Media, last week announced a new company-wide initiative called "Hispanics at NBCU" to boost ad dollars targeting Hispanics, similar to other themed cross-platform efforts targeting women, health and other areas. According to new census numbers, Hispanics accounted for more than half of the growth in the U.S. population over the last decade, and now total 50 million, or more than 16% of the U.S. population, making the Latino audience a priority for media groups like NBC Universal.
Telemundo said in a press release that a successor to Mr. Browne "will be announced in the coming months."
Telemundo starts its search at the same time bigger rival Univision Communications is replacing its own CEO, Joe Uva, who left this month when his contract to run the Spanish-language media giant expired and wasn't renewed.
It's unclear whether Telemundo's next president will come from outside the company or within Telemundo -- or the wider NBC Universal group, as Mr. Browne did. After a career at NBC News in New York and Miami, Mr. Browne was president and general manager of NBC's Miami station WTVJ when he was tapped for the Telemundo job. After Mr. Browne, Telemundo's top executive is Jacqueline Hernandez, who Mr. Browne hired as Telemundo's chief operating officer in 2008 from Time Inc.'s People en Espanol, where she was publisher.
Other high-ranking Telemundo execs include Ron Gordon, president of the Telemundo Television Station Group; Telemundo International's president, Marco Santana; and Joshua Mintz, promoted to senior exec VP, Telemundo Entertainment, in January 2011.