Univision to Name Joe Uva CEO

OMD Worldwide Chief to Help Lure General-Market Dollars to Spanish-Language Giant

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NEW YORK (AdAge.com) -- Spanish-language media giant Univision Communications is expected to name Joe Uva, currently president-CEO of OMD Worldwide, as its new CEO.
Joe Uva
Joe Uva

Univision is scheduled to complete its $13.5 billion sale to a private-equity consortium within the next month, when major shareholder A. Jerrold Perenchio will step down as CEO, a role he has held since 1992.

Strong relationships
Mr. Uva can offer strong relationships with the big national advertisers Univision needs to tap for more ad revenue in order to grow.

"Univision's main focus has to be to convert general market dollars to Hispanic dollars," said Julio Rumbaut, a Hispanic media consultant.

Mr. Uva and OMD could not immediately be reached for comment.

Univision noted in an Securities and Exchange Commission filing earlier this month that in 2006, only 137 of the top 300 network advertisers bought ad time on Univision, and that the Spanish-language media company believes many of those marketers "under-allocated to Spanish advertising in proportion to the U.S. Hispanic population."

Lengthy CEO search
The CEO search has been lengthy, and other names have been bandied about, including Keith Turner, NBC's former president of sales, and Jim McNamara, the former CEO of NBC Universal's Spanish-language network, Telemundo. Even Vicente Fox, the former president of Mexico, was flagged as a candidate in the media, although the report was quickly denied.

Univision reported net revenue of $2.17 billion for 2006, an 11% increase over the previous year, with TV accounting for about 74% of net revenues. Radio, music and the internet contributed the rest of the company's revenue.

Univision last month extended the employment contracts through the end of 2009 of the company's president and chief operating officer, Ray Rodriquez, along with three other Univision officers. They also got 10% raises -- to a base salary of $1.1 million for Mr. Rodriguez, who also received a $1.8 million bonus in 2006.

A Univision spokeswoman had no comment. A spokesman for Spencer Stuart, the executive recruiter believed to be conducting the search, refused to comment.

Prior to joining OMD Worldwide as president-CEO, Mr. Uva was president, Turner Entertainment Group Sales and Marketing for Turner Broadcasting Sales. He joined Turner in 1984 as an account executive for CNN and later served five years as VP-sales manager before becoming the exec- VP-sales for CNN/Headline News and the CNN Broadcast Networks. He earlier worked as a media planner and buyer for both McCann Erickson and Grey Advertising.

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Matthew Creamer contributed to this report.
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