Years of boardroom bickering and missteps, including a disastrous foray into English-language media, as well as rising competition from rival Telemundo and shifting demographics, have taken a toll.
Billionaire Haim Saban is considering stepping down as chairman of Univision Holdings and has told associates he wants Peter M. Kern to take his place at the Spanish-language media company, people familiar with the matter say. Kern, the CEO of Tribune Media, is already advising Univision CEO Vincent Sadusky, who replaced Randy Falco this year.
Hollywood didn’t believe in the power of teenage superheroes in spandex suits. But Haim Saban would not give up. The cartoon-music man spent eight years peddling his Mighty Morphin Power Rangers. “Every selling season, I would go out and offer it to the networks — and would get kicked out of the room,” Saban said of his 1980s slog. “They told me how crazy I was.” Now after 23 years, 831 television episodes and billions of dollars in sales of Power Rangers toys and other merchandise, a $100-million reboot arrives in movie theaters this week.
Media mogul Haim Saban has launched a special-purpose investment fund that is going public in an effort to raise at least $235 million for potential investments or acquisitions.
The World Cup has been a record-breaking event for Univision, which has dominated its TV rivals in several of America’s largest cities — Los Angeles, Miami and Houston. It even won the New York market for some games. The unprecedented exposure that it has received from the World Cup could not have come at a better time for Univision, which is exploring the possibility of a deal in the middle of a flurry of big media industry mergers.
Asserting that it is “not just important, it is vital,” Univision Chairman Haim Saban urged the development of a new broadcast transmission standard “to allow us to deliver our signal to all platforms, all the time,” on Monday at the NAB Show. “If we don’t, we will be left back in the 20th century. It is not an option,” he added. During his remarks he drew laughs when he referred to the FCC as the “Friendly Cable Commission.”
The chairman of Univision Communications will appear in a Q&A with NAB CEO Gordon Smith on April 7 in Las Vegas.
Univision’s Chairman Haim Saban sounds the Aereo alarm after News Corp COO Chase Carey raised the possibility of becoming a subscription cable service earlier on Monday.
Haim Saban, who helped develop the majority of the programming that filled the grid on the successful Fox Family cable-TV outlet before moving into other ventures and becoming chairman of Univsion Corp., is returning to kiddie TV. His Saban Brands has agreed to fill a five-hour Saturday-morning block on CW affiliates starting 7 a.m. on Aug. 25.