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Univision Radio President Pens Open Letter Regarding Recent Changes

Univision Radio Jose Valle Layoffs Mas Variedad Radio ChangesAs Univision continues to reshape its radio portfolio, group President Jose Valle has penned an open letter to discuss the rash of changes that have taken place in recent months.

The company has flipped multiple stations, revised much of their branding, and cut staffers in recent weeks. The changes are continuing as Alex Quintero was let go today as Program Director of “X96.3” WXNY New York and more brand adjustments appear to be coming.

The changes will see more nationalization as two lines stick out in his letter, “The content teams will provide customized and localized content across all of our markets” and “Many of our shows will see expanded coverage into multiple markets. We have early signs of success with this model.” Valle also praises their new Regional Mexican morning show “El Bueno, La Mala y El Feo” for already reaching #1 among Spanish language listeners 18-49 in Los Angeles, Houston, Chicago, San Antonio & Dallas.

After dropping the branding for just the frequency on their Spanish CHR stations, a similar move is coming to their Regional Mexican stations. The company registered 921Fresno.com, 929SanAntonio.com, 933Houston.com, 941Dallas.com, 975ElPaso.com, 985McAllen.com, 989SanFrancisco.com, 1019LosAngeles.com, 1043Austin.com, 1051Abq.com, 1051Albuquerque.com, 1051Chicago.com, 1051NuevoMexico.com, 1059Phoenix.com, 1065SanDiego.com, and 1079Dallas.com on Monday for those stations along with 1019Houston.com, which makes no sense as there’s no 101.9 in the market.

Also their Spanish Adult Hits “Recuerdo” stations have all been rebranded as “Mas Variedad“. An additional station looks ready to join that brand as 1077MasVariedad.com was registered for “El Sancho 107.7” KLJA Austin.

Valle’s letter follows below:

I can directly connect most of my life to very specific music, but even more so, to radio stations, formats and morning Djs who introduced me to that music. From listening to Humberto Luna on KTNQ with my father in the late 70’s and Richard Blade introducing me to new music on KROQ during 80’s to my kids constantly reaching for control of the dial (or phone/ipad) today- radio has always been a part of my life. A constant companion – playing the soundtrack of my life.

Technology and consumer preference has given radio an opportunity to expand and connect beyond our signal strength. We are no longer limited by our coverage map. Listeners still want to stay connected to the over-the-air brands they love – of that there is no doubt – but they want to do it on their terms. And we, as an industry, must adapt and make the needed changes to ensure that we continue to deliver for our listeners and advertisers.

That is why Univision Radio began a journey over the past two years to transform our offering to best meet the needs of our listeners today and in the future.

As has always been the case, content is still king. To that end, we have assembled best in class “brand teams” to create content across all platforms. The brand teams include some of the nation’s best programmers, digital/promotion/production leadership, and on-air talent, each specializing exclusively in one genre or brand of music.

The content teams, based in Los Angeles, Miami & San Antonio, will provide customized and localized content across all of our markets, digital, and beyond. Local promotions and activation teams, as well as local DJs, will continue serving clients and local audiences in each and every market.

We also believe in and will continue to invest and develop quality talent. Morning shows like Raul Brindis, Omar & Argelia, Enrique Santos, Javier Romero and Luis Jimenez have consistently connected with our audiences and performed for our partners. Many of our shows will see expanded coverage into multiple markets. We have early signs of success with this model. We recently launched “El Bueno, La Mala y El Feo”, a new program from our regional Mexican brand team in Los Angeles and it already ranks #1 in Spanish language daypart for adults 18-49 in 5 key markets, Los Angeles, Houston, Chicago, San Antonio & DFW.

We will be extending our brands digitally via Uforia 4.0 – recently released on both iOS & Android. This extension of our brands – is a digital music service that puts the power in the customer’s hands, letting them experience their favorite music and brands on their terms.

As part of the digital investment, Uforia Studios will generate, produce and distribute audio and video content to all Uforia Music Platforms. These content creation sites will maximize every opportunity available with celebrities and artists to create exclusive content for our consumers. From intimate performances to entertaining segments. Uforia Studios will make it available across all platforms while facilitating the flexibility to localize this content by brand and market.

Uforia Studios will also leverage the power of Univision Communications Inc’s (UCI) platforms starting with our local radio stations and including network and local TV, digital properties in addition to our tent pole events to drive music premieres for existing and upcoming artists. Our competitive advantage in the marketplace is our ability to tap into the power of a unified and integrated UCI.

As part of our ongoing transformation, we will also be investing in traffic and production centers of excellence that will generate efficiencies, quality control, and facilitate collaboration around content creation. Change is always difficult, but as the industry, we must continue to lead, experiment, learn, and recalibrate quickly, or else, we will lose audiences. This means, to continue to win we must pull back resources in some areas, to invest in areas of growth.

Radio is much more than a coverage map. It is a partner that can now travel with you everywhere and anywhere. And music isn’t just music. It is a way of life. It is still the universal language – but it is now customized and personalized. At Univision Radio we see ourselves playing the role of curator, and host that connects and powers those soundtracks – everywhere. Our strategy and focus is clear – to be everywhere our audience is with the quality and musical experience that they are looking for.

If you are an emerging artist looking to connect with the biggest Hispanic audience in Radio, we have a program to develop your brand and reach across broadcast, digital, and live events.

If you are a broadcaster looking to capitalize on the growth and strength of the Hispanic audiences, we have the top mornings shows, music formats and content services available for your syndication.

The new Univision Radio is looking forward to working with you.

Profile photo of Lance Venta
Lance Venta is the Owner and Publisher of RadioInsight.com and a consultant for RadioBB Networks specializing in integration of radio and the internet. Lance has two decades of experience tracking the audio industry and its use of digital platforms.

9 Comments

  1. Profile photo of JustinT


    1019Houston.com – the 1014freefm.com of the decade… but will Univision grab the domain for 102.9 before cyber-squatters do?

  2. Profile photo of oasisrulz


    I probably will receive flack from this but why all the fuss and catering to the Hispanic population. IMHO all stations should broadcast in English, music, talk, variety and sports, this is getting way out of hand, catering to a certain ethnic. It seems everytime you turn around, a station flips to some sort of Hispanic language, at times, I really don’t know what country I am in when scanning the dial. I really don’t want to hear about the big bucks this brings in, what about all the European ethnics that are living here, where is their full time format. How does anyone expect these people to learn the language if everyone bends over backwards and caters to them via the airwaves. I always bring this subject up at radio conferences and nobody seems to have a legitimate answer they just run around it.

    • Profile photo of joseph_gallant


      What about a station that programs contemporary Spanish-language music but all it’s announcing, commercials, newscasts, etc., was in English??

    • Profile photo of Scott Fybush


      The answer is, “you live in a country with a long history of immigration and assimilation, one with no official language and one in which broadcasters enjoy the First Amendment right to program whatever they think best serves the needs of their markets.”

      Long before there was even broadcast radio (or TV), we’ve had media that operate in all sorts of different languages. Up here in western New York, there were German-language daily newspapers as late as the start of World War I. Almost as soon as broadcast radio began, there were stations (and not just in big cities, either) broadcasting programming in Yiddish, German, Spanish, Italian, you name it.

      As net immigration from traditional Spanish-speaking countries has declined in recent decades, the first-generation populations that spoke only Spanish are being replaced (as they always do) with second- and third-generation populations that speak both Spanish and English. Several of Univision’s stations have experimented with hybrid Spanish/English programming to serve them. Other Univision stations have gone to English-language formats as their markets have shifted (like 105.7 in San Francisco just last week).

      There’s nothing, in short, in your xenophobic ignorance of history that couldn’t have been written just as easily by someone scanning the New York radio dials of 1928 or 1948.

    • Profile photo of e-dawg


      “I probably will receive flack from this but why all the fuss and catering to the Hispanic population. IMHO all stations should broadcast in English, music, talk, variety and sports, this is getting way out of hand, catering to a certain ethnic. It seems everytime you turn around, a station flips to some sort of Hispanic language, at times, I really don’t know what country I am in when scanning the dial. I really don’t want to hear about the big bucks this brings in, what about all the European ethnics that are living here, where is their full time format. How does anyone expect these people to learn the language if everyone bends over backwards and caters to them via the airwaves. I always bring this subject up at radio conferences and nobody seems to have a legitimate answer they just run around it.”

      If you go to Europe, guess what music they played? “E-N-G-L-I-S-H” even in France with the 40% french music policy. Even the European Eurovision Song Contest. Every country in the Eurovision sings in English except for France. In Berlin, you’ll find radio stations that are in English, French, also in Polish and Turkish. Do europeans have a problem with music that are not in theri native language? Nope, except for France, majority of radio stations in Europe plays music in English. If you go to Mexico, and if you listen to Las Principales, EXA-FM, or Digital FM guess what music they play mostly? E-N-G-L-I-S-H. Even in Mexico CIty, there are several radio stations that play music in ENGLISH such as Universal 92.1 and Stereo Joya 93.7. FM. Oh! BTW if you go to Europe (the Nederlands, Portugal, Scandinavians countries), most of the TV shows are from the United States and subtitles in their local language. Do they have a problem with this? NOPE!

  3. Profile photo of joseph_gallant


    This seems to be a plan to launch several national formats with almost no local content.

    Just like Cumulus and Clear Channel seem to be doing, only “en Espanol”.

  4. Profile photo of e-dawg


    Kind of similar to Macy’s (Federated Department Store) which brought (May’s Department Store) and nationalized the name like Meier & Frank, Strawbridges, Mashall Fields, Bon Marche, Foley’s, Kaufmans, Hetch, Filene’s, Famous-Barr, etc). Think of the department stores such as Regional Mexican will be Macy’s and Mas Varidad will be Bloomingdale’s. Not just only radio, but department stores, and supermarkets does that trend. Just look at Kroger, Albertsons (Safeway soon to be Alberstons), maybe they’ll nationalized their supermarkets from regional base i.e Ralphs, Vons, Tom Thumb, Acme, Osco-Jewel, Shaw’s, King Snoopers etc).

  5. Profile photo of KP


    Funny though that both of Univision’s recent flips have been to English stations, from Spanish stations, sort of. 101.3 flipped to English old-school hip-hop from Spanish CHR, 105.7 flipped to English CHR from Spanish CHR.
    All Univision needs to do is start an old school station here in San Antonio and we’re good.

  6. Profile photo of BC


    for what its worth though, a second generation spanish Ceo has better communications skills than their partner organization that apparently speaks english as a second language, and a dialect called legalese as their first language. At least the letter was well written, they didn’t open up the press release as a very prominent partner of theirs does, by bragging about their market position. They show, then tell, then show again why things need to be the way they are. It’s not my demographic besides 101.3, but I at least appreciate the way he handled it. No, i think they’ll use national in target spots, like mornings and afternoons, but how is that any different than the tom Joyner DL Hughley combination at urban stations. urban is especially prominent with nationalized talent, yet no one ever says anything negative in regards to that. it works for the hispanics, because these brands are only beginning to gain momentum and I think a good anchor is what a multi media transformative generational brand needs, but it shouldn’t be exploited either. That’s the only reason people take notice, is because of downsizing, but syndication has existed for years!

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