Univision has added two senior executives to its ad-sales ranks ahead of a pair of upfront presentations to media buyers.
The Hispanic media giant is in its first upfront sales cycle since changing hands to a consortium of investors led by former Viacom CFO Wade Davis, who now leads the company as CEO.
While the format will be virtual, Univision is among the traditional players reclaiming real-estate in mid-May, the traditional berth for upfront presentations. The company has claimed May 18 for its main presentation and has also slotted an event titled “A New Vision at Univision” for March 24.
A key hire by the newly constituted company assembling its new team was Donna Speciale, a longtime sales chief at Turner and WarnerMedia. Speciale in turn has recruited former Turner colleagues Dan Riess and Dan Aversano for top positions. Riess has been named EVP and chief growth officer and Aversano is SVP of data, analytics and advanced advertising. Both will report to Speciale.
The company has pursued a “back-to-basics” strategy focused on its traditional core viewers since the retirement of former CEO Randy Falco at the end of 2018, shoring up ratings at the flagship broadcast network. Layoffs and asset sales took place in 2019, with the company exiting businesses like the English language Onion and Gizmodo digital portfolios, before the sale to the new owners closed in December 2020. In addition to its traditional operations, Univision has also launched ad-supported streaming service PrendeTV.
“Univision is focused on aggressively evolving our ad sales strategy to better serve our clients and we are excited to share with them our recent progress and layout the new vision for Univision,” Speciale said. “To advance our efforts, I’m thrilled that Dan Riess and Dan Aversano will be joining Univision to be a part of my leadership team. Together with our broader team, they will play a critical role in transforming our business, optimizing our advanced advertising capabilities and leveraging data and analytics across the Univision ecosystem to accelerate growth for our clients.”