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Gizmodo (a division of Univision) publishes article calling company "A fucking mess"

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Gizmodo Media (a part of Univision Communications) has published a longform article detailing the severe debt problems that Univision is having, the mass layoffs that are devastating the news operations, and infighting that is going on within the company. It also takes a look at the Fusion fiasco and the huge amount of money wasted on that project.

 

https://specialprojectsdesk.com/univision-is-a-fucking-mess-1825836622

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Holy hell. I don't even speak Spanish, so I've never really paid attention to Univision. But damn, they're in such a deep hole, we'll need a drill tank to bring them out!

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I can tell you why Univision is such a fucking mess. It's because of Univision's lack of investment into itself. From having Sabado Gigante canned, to news departments getting gutted, to being over-reliant on Televisa for a lot of shows, Univision is a mess these days compared to Telemundo.

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I can tell you why Univision is such a fucking mess. It's because of Univision's lack of investment into itself. From having Sabado Gigante canned, to news departments getting gutted, to being over-reliant on Televisa for a lot of shows, Univision is a mess these days compared to Telemundo.

 

Any chance of Televisa purchasing Univision if they go bankrupt?

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Any chance of Televisa purchasing Univision if they go bankrupt?

 

But that would present an international ownership problem. Just like when Fox was getting started, it had to be US-based to get past the feds.

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But that would present an international ownership problem. Just like when Fox was getting started, it had to be US-based to get past the feds.

Oh yeah, forgot about that. They can't even start up a US branch and have that bail Univision out?

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No more Sabado Gigante? :(

 

Don Francisco now has an eponymous show on Telemundo Don Francisco Te Invita.

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Maybe if Univision will start actually investing in themselves it won't be such a joke that they are

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I can tell you why Univision is such a fucking mess. It's because of Univision's lack of investment into itself. From having Sabado Gigante canned, to news departments getting gutted, to being over-reliant on Televisa for a lot of shows, Univision is a mess these days compared to Telemundo.

If you ask me, in terms of institutions, the cancellation of Sabado Gigante was far more of a travesty than recent cancellations of some soap operas (AMC, OLTL) It made no sense. Regulating Saturday Nights to Futbol, while similar to FOX programming sports in primetime, now with the addition of Thu. Night Football, is more of a copout. Also ask those in Puerto Rico who worked at the O&O's now shuttered news department how well run it was under Univision from '02-'14.

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Also ask those in Puerto Rico who worked at the O&O's now shuttered news department how well run it was under Univision from '02-'14.

 

Just as a viewer you knew how badly they were running the station. When they took over, it went from being obviously very Puerto Rican to being very Mexican... in Puerto Rico. Some shows (like El Gordo y la Flaca) were DOA simply because programs that catered to Mexicans didn't work here. The rest of the programming worked for a while, but once the novelty wore off, the rating began to decline. I mean, there are only so many Televisa telenovelas people can stomach. Sábado Gigante was the one exception, because it had always been a hit.

 

As for the news division -- Las Noticias -- Univision turned a Cox-like, investigation reports-loving, hard news station into happy talk central with people who were absolutely terrible at it and were visibly annoyed at having to do it. They moved the 6:00 PM news to 5:00, only to be slaughtered by Telemundo/WKAQ (2) and WAPA (4), and quickly return to 6:00. Once it went back, however, Univision cut the news by a half hour for reasons they only know. They eventually moved the news again to 5:00, because Univision just wanted it there despite the terrible ratings. They didn't seem to get that the news at 6 were watched by people that wanted nothing to do with the gossip shows on 2 and 4. That's why they did well.

 

Because Despierta América flopped in Puerto Rico, Univision also retooled Tu Mañana (pretty much Puerto Rico's answer to Mornings on 2) into a super fluffy morning show. It quickly slipped in the ratings, because WAPA was already doing the same thing, but much better. The same treatment would eventually reach the noon news, which had WLII's flagship newscast for ages.

 

Then there was Univision's relationship with WLII's west coast rebroadcaster, WORA. You can only really speculate, but at the end of the day, WORA signed on with ABC and was perfectly willing to become an English-language station in a Spanish-speaking island and spend a whole lot of money to extend their OTA coverage just so they wouldn't have to stay with Univision.

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Just as a viewer you knew how badly they were running the station. When they took over, it went from being obviously very Puerto Rican to being very Mexican... in Puerto Rico. Some shows (like El Gordo y la Flaca) were DOA simply because programs that catered to Mexicans didn't work here. The rest of the programming worked for a while, but once the novelty wore off, the rating began to decline. I mean, there are only so many Televisa telenovelas people can stomach. Sábado Gigante was the one exception, because it had always been a hit.

 

As for the news division -- Las Noticias -- Univision turned a Cox-like, investigation reports-loving, hard news station into happy talk central with people who were absolutely terrible at it and were visibly annoyed at having to do it. They moved the 6:00 PM news to 5:00, only to be slaughtered by Telemundo/WKAQ (2) and WAPA (4), and quickly return to 6:00. Once it went back, however, Univision cut the news by a half hour for reasons they only know. They eventually moved the news again to 5:00, because Univision just wanted it there despite the terrible ratings. They didn't seem to get that the news at 6 were watched by people that wanted nothing to do with the gossip shows on 2 and 4. That's why they did well.

 

Because Despierta América flopped in Puerto Rico, Univision also retooled Tú Mañana (pretty much Puerto Rico's answer to Mornings on 2) into a super fluffy morning show. It quickly slipped in the ratings, because WAPA was already doing the same thing, but much better. The same treatment would eventually reach the noon news, which had WLII's flagship newscast for ages.

 

Then there was Univision's relationship with WLII's west coast rebroadcaster, WORA. You can only really speculate, but at the end of the day, WORA signed on with ABC and was perfectly willing to become an English-language station in a Spanish-speaking island and spend a whole lot of money to extend their OTA coverage just so they wouldn't have to stay with Univision.

Say what you will about Telemundo’s treatment of WKAQ, but at least NBC understands the market and knows to cater to it. They understand that not everyone wants to see a Mexican version of Family Feud or La Liga soccer. Hell, even Raycom, F-ING RAYCOM, didn’t bungle WLII this badly. I just hope that Univision can go back to basics and realize that not rely heavily on Televisa.

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I don't know if things will improve until private equity gets out, whenever and however they do.

 

I for one am unsure how Haim Saban has been tolerant of the losses, but knowing him there is some endgame we don't see...

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Maybe Univision should spin off Gizmodo and let it convert to a nonprofit. It's being done in Canada:

 

La Presse being spun off as a non-profit: what we know

http://blog.fagstein.com/2018/05/08/la-presse-non-profit/

The mistake was buying the remants of Gawker Media - after Peter Theil effectively sued the company into oblivion** because he didn't like what they wrote about him - and merging it into the Onion.

 

Not that the current company isn't viable, but it made absolutely no sense on Univision's part.

 

**Theil almost single-handedly bankrolled Hulk Hogan's lawsuit against Gawker, making that the equivalent of a proxy war.

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It was a bad idea to make a Latino equivalent to MSNBC. It was a bad idea to cancel Sabado Gigante. It was a bad idea to buy Gawker and the Onion. Just bad decisions after bad decisions and if Univision is dead, then theres one less place for me to watch soccer :(

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