Adios: Uva Leaves OMD To Helm Univision
Univision is scheduled to complete its $13.5 billion acquisition next month by a group of private investors headed by ex-majority owner of Fox Family Channel, Haim Saban. Uva will be based in New York, and will run Univision's television, radio, music and online divisions. He will start in April.
One of the main reasons for Uva's hiring, according to media analysts, is the underperformance of the network in terms of converting English-language TV advertisers to buyers of TV time on Spanish-language television.
David Joyce, stock market analyst at Miller Tabak & Co., estimates that only about 190 of the top 300 network advertisers buy TV time on Univision. For more than a decade, Univision has slowly closed the gap--but not as fast as some critics would have liked, especially considering the rapid growth of the Hispanic population and Spanish-language TV.
"A couple of months ago, the new owners said they wanted to go with someone with strong advertising ties," says Joyce. "That direction makes a lot of sense. I still see a lot of upside for Corporate America to increase their media budgets on Univision. [Uva] has strong relationships with ad buyers."
Uva is inheriting a strong track record. Univision's ad revenues have steadily grown over the last decade--scoring yearly double-digit percent ad-revenue increases and outpacing the U.S. television advertising market as a whole, as well as individual English-language broadcast networks.
Univision has made big gains this year--from a perception point of view--when the net is compared in terms of viewership with English-language networks. Since the beginning of 2006, daily Spanish-language program ratings have been included in the Nielsen Media Research's key Nielsen People Meter. Thus, it can be evaluated head-to-head against English-language networks.
Univision regularly ties or beats networks like the CW in certain demos, and occasionally grabs a fourth-place spot over networks such as Fox or NBC. Univision executives believe this will go a long way in convincing other TV advertisers to up spending on the network.
Separately, OMD Worldwide has recently had a strong period in retaining or adding new business recently. In addition, OMD is way ahead of other agencies in terms of creative awards.
An executive close to OMD and Uva said the move was amicable: "It was a terrific opportunity that he could not turn down." Although Uva had seven months left on his contract, OMD let him go.
Last year, Uva--in addition to his post at OMD--was given a seat on the board of OMD's parent company, Omnicom Media Group. OMD will not fill Uva's position right now. Instead, Daryl Simm, CEO of the Omnicom Media Group, will assume his duties.
The job returns Uva to his mostly TV-selling roots. He had various positions at Turner Broadcasting, where he started in 1984, rising to president of Turner Entertainment Group Sales and Marketing for Turner Broadcasting Sales.
In 2002, Uva left Turner to join OMD as its chief executive. Previously, Uva held buying and planning positions at McCann Erickson and Grey Advertising.