Uva Abdicates President, CEO Post at Univision

Just two months after Univision tapped former NBC Universal and AOL executive Randy Falco as its new evp and chief operating officer, network chief Joe Uva has decided to step down from his post.

Effective April 2 (the day his contract expires), Uva will give up his job as president and CEO of the Spanish-language network. In a statement released Monday afternoon, Univision announced that Uva had informed the company’s board of directors that he has elected not to renew his employment agreement.

Characterizing his four-year tenure as “extremely exciting and rewarding,” Uva said the time was right for him to “capitalize on other opportunities.”

A search for a new CEO begins today. In order to effect a more frictionless transition, executive chairman Haim Saban will serve as interim chief executive until a replacement has been identified.

While Falco was not mentioned anywhere in today’s announcement, a source at the network suggested that the new Univision COO and former NBC Universal Television Group president is the most likely successor. Falco joined Univision in mid-January, filling a post that had been vacant since Ray Rodriguez retired at the tail end of 2009.

Falco oversees all revenue-producing functions at Univision, including ad sales, distribution and affiliate relations, as well as day-to-day operations at the company’s TV and radio station units. He has been reporting directly to Uva.

Saban tipped his hat to Uva “for his tremendous contributions over the past four years,” adding that the company is stronger today thanks to the departing chief’s efforts. “Univision’s business is strong, and the entire management team remains focused on delivering value to its customers and stakeholders. We wish Joe the best in his future endeavors.”

Following a five-year stint as president and CEO of OMD Worldwide, Uva joined Univision in April 2007. Prior to taking the reins at the media agency, Uva spent 17 years at Turner Broadcasting System. Among the hats he wore during his tenure there, Uva was president of sales and marketing for Turner Entertainment Group, where he handled all ad sales and marketing for TBS Superstation, TNT, Turner Sports and Cartoon Network.