Univision has named Randy Falco president and CEO, effective immediately, ending speculation about who would lead the company following Joe Uva's surprise exit at the end of March.
Mr. Falco had been Univision's exec VP and chief operating officer since early this year, overseeing all revenue-generating lines of business, including ad sales, distribution sales and affiliate relations, as well as the operations of the TV and radio station groups, corporate marketing, research and corporate business development.
Mr. Falco is well-known in media circles, having overseen AOL when it was part of Time Warner and previously having served for years as one of NBC's top executives. Mr. Falco was essentially a lieutenant to former NBC honcho Bob Wright, eventually leaving the company after Jeff Zucker was named to lead it.
Mr. Falco takes Univsion's reins at an interesting time. Spanish-language TV has shown growth in recent years, with ad revenue devoted to this category of media increasing 8.6% to about $3.3 billion in 2010, according to Kantar Media.
Many of the outlets have seized upon the most recent U.S. Census, which demonstrated a broader Spanish-speaking population at large in the U.S. No longer are Spanish-language networks considered entertainment only for new immigrants; rather, they are enjoying the benefits of a growing younger generation. Media companies including News Corp. and Discovery Communications have moved to serve the audience, as has perennial Univision rival Telemundo, owned by Comcast's NBC Universal. Mr. Falco won't have the road to himself.