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Univision boss unexpectedly steps down

Joe Uva, president and chief executive officer of Univision, unexpectedly announced his decision to leave the US Hispanic broadcaster last night. There was no immediate reason given for the departure, which leaves the broadcaster needing to find a new chief executive at a crucial point in its development ahead of a mooted IPO. Uva leaves on April 2.

In a statement Uva said: “I believe our team can be proud of the accomplishments that we achieved during my tenure.  Although I will miss working with the many talented professionals at Univision, the team is strong and I have decided the time is right for me to capitalize on other opportunities.”

Haim Saban, executive chairman of Univision also issued a statement that read: “On behalf of the Univision Board of Directors, we would like to commend Joe for his tremendous contributions over the past four years.  Univision is a better company today due to Joe’s efforts in building a strong leadership team and positioning Univision for long-term success.”

Uva joined from Omnicom’s media arm OMD four years ago and has also worked at Turner. The Spanish-language network has fared well in the ratings in recent times although its advertising revenues still lag those of the major broadcast networks.

After a protracted dispute, Univision agreed a new long-term programming deal with Televisa and beat out its English-language counterparts for a full week for the first time ever in 2010, buoyed by the success of telenovela Soy Tu Duena. Speaking to TBIvision earlier this year Univision Networks president Cesar Conde said that it will be the top US net within five years.