Former NBC Exec Randy Falco Named Head of Univision

Operations expert takes over for departed chief Joe Uva

Three months after Univision president and CEO Joe Uva stepped down from his post, the nation’s largest Spanish-language media company announced that Randy Falco will fill the vacancy.

Falco assumes his new role today (June 29). He also has been named to Univision’s board of directors.

According to executive chairman Haim Saban, Univision’s governing body unanimously approved Falco’s appointment.

“I am thrilled to take on the role of CEO, [and] I’m excited to lead a company with such tremendous growth potential,” Falco said. “I look forward to continuing to work with such an exceptional leadership team.”

A 31-year NBC veteran, Falco joined Univision in January as executive vice president and chief operating officer. At the time, Falco’s move to Univision came as a bit of a surprise, as he had served as an informal consultant to Comcast while the cable giant was plotting its takeover of NBCU.

Industry observers assumed he’d leverage his Comcast ties to get back to NBC; in fact, such a move seemed all but predetermined as former antagonist Jeff Zucker had been fired by the new owners just a few months before.

Among the titles Falco held during his long tenure at 30 Rock were president and chief operating officer of NBCU Television Group, group president of NBC, and president of broadcast and network operations.

Falco was also chief operating officer of NBCU’s Olympics operations in Salt Lake City (2002), Sydney (2000), Atlanta (1996), and Barcelona (1992).

Falco left NBC in 2006, once it became glaringly obvious that Zucker was poised to succeed Bob Wright as CEO of NBCU. That same year, he replaced Jonathan Miller as chairman and CEO of AOL.

After four years at AOL, Falco was replaced with former Google ad sales chief Tim Armstrong.

Falco takes the reins at Univision a little more than six months after Grupo Televisa took a 5 percent stake in the company, a deal that also extended the broadcaster’s rights to televise content produced by Televisa.

With an average nightly delivery of 3.7 million viewers, Univision now boasts the fifth-largest prime-time audience of all U.S. TV networks. It was also the only broadcaster to grow its share of adults 18-49 during the 2010-11 season, improving 8 percent with a 1.5 rating.

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