During the National Hispanic Media Coalition Latino MediaCon conference, billionaire Haim Saban, Chairman and CEO of Saban Capital Group and Executive Chairman of Univision emphasized that acquiring the Spanish-language network in 2007 was a wise decision.
“It doesn’t take a genius to figure out importance of the Latino market,” he told the audience.
Saban, headliner of the event, shared his personal experiences and industry insights with NHMC President & CEO Alex Nogales during a one-on-one conversation, on Friday, July 20.
He spoke candidly about his past, his political leanings – as a proud democrat – and affinity for everything Latino. “I love Latino culture. I love Latino music… I listen to Luis Miguel and Thalia,” he told the audience. He even threw some lines in Spanish, which received a round of applause from the crowd.
The key to success, he said, is “to surround yourself with intelligent people who know what they’re doing,” in response to a question as to how he can manage his multiple ventures. He pointed out that he had a great executive team at Univision, led by César Conde.
During his conversation, he spoke about competition being healthy. “I will tell you that I like competition… but I also don’t like competition.” He went on to mention the launch of MundoFox and showered Fox International Channels president Hernán López, who was sitting in the audience, with praise. “I told him, good luck, Hernán,” referring to the launch of new broadcast network MundoFox. “But then I turned around and said, not really,” generating laughter from the crowd.
The former music and television producer worked with López in the past when his company, Saban Entertainment, which had merged with Fox Kids Network, acquired the Fox Family Channel. The Saban-Fox partnership was restructured under the Fox Family Worldwide banner and sold to The Walt Disney Company in 2001.
Saban led the group of investors (which included Texas Pacific Group and Thomas H. Lee Partners) that acquired Univision Communications Inc. in 2007 for $13.7 billion.