Univision announced a leadership reorganization at its radio division last week. But it failed to disclose that the change included eliminating talk show programming and switching Univision América into a music and paid programming AM radio network.
Univision América’s three remaining personality-driven talk shows “Doctora Isabel” and “Fernando Espuelas” were cancelled effective Thursday, June 25.
A source says the shows hosts and skeleton production crews were notified just hours before that they would not go on the air and that their shows were cancelled. They were all were laid off the same day.
Univision has yet to notify radio listeners of the programming changes.
It’s not the first time the company makes abrupt changes within Univision América and fails to tell its radio listeners. In January of this year, the majority of the network’s shows were eliminated from the national programming schedule, without prior notice to the show hosts and staffers and without alerting its audience.
At the time, then Univision Radio president José Valle refused to call it a restructuring, instead telling Media Moves it was a “format adjustment” aimed at “improving our systems and operations.”
Valle is no longer President of Univision Radio. He was reassigned to the role of President of Political & Advocacy Sales. Jaime Jiménez, EVP, Univision Local Media, absorbed the responsibility of Univision Radio.
In the press release announcing the two “executive appointments,” Univision stated that “as part of the changes, Univision Radio’s AM stations will be integrated locally” and that “the integrated local content approach will allow for more targeted local content.”
That targeted local content will be mostly paid programming.
When the original talk programming was downsized in January, Valle admitted the format change would “give local GMs the opportunity to address their market, be it via sharing of their local news operations content or via monetization opportunities…. Local business owners, talk shows, advertorial type stuff.”
According to an inside source, the AM radio network is unprofitable and is looking for ways to beef up revenues as its parent company Univision continues prepping up for an IPO.
Univision did not respond to requests for comment.
Correction: When first published, the story indicated María Marín’s show was also canceled. A Univision rep says her show remains on the air.