The Washington Post is reporting that Univision is firing over 200 of its employees because the company has been losing money. Now, if you pay attention to media at all, then you’re probably asking yourself “Wait, didn’t Univison just buy Gawker Media for, like, millions of dollars?” They sure did — $135 million, to be exact. And previously they also bough The Onion and The Root (the latter used to be owned by The Washington Post):
The Spanish-language media giant Univision Communications will lay off almost 6 percent of its workforce — between 200 and 250 people — after it slipped into the red last quarter, the company announced Wednesday. The layoffs, along with a planned restructuring, “are in response to difficult times, challenging times,” Isaac Lee, Univision’s digital, entertainment and news chief, told The Washington Post in his first public comments on the moves. “We need to position ourselves for the future.” Univision had a third-quarter net loss of $30.5 million on total revenue of $735 million, down 8 percent.
But Univision’s newly acquired ventures are not the ones losing money — well, that we know of — no, the problem seems to be with Fusion and its former bread and butter: Spanish-language media consumers. The obvious answer as to why the latter is happening would be to say that the company’s Spanish-speaking audience is shrinking because it’s getting old. However, if Telemundo has anything to say about that, it’s probably has more to do with the fact that Univision’s Spanish content sucks, because the NBC-owned station recently surpassed its competitor in ratings — including in the oh-so-coveted millennial demographic:
Telemundo was the top-rated Spanish-language network in primetime last week for the advertiser-coveted 18-49 demographic. Why’s that a big deal? Well, it was actually the first time that the NBCUniversal-owned broadcast network ever accomplished the feat, topping Univision in the process. From Monday-Sunday, Telemundo outperformed Univision by 2 percent in the main demo. Millennials were on board, too, as adults 18-34 tuned in to Telemundo 5 percent more than Univision for the week beginning July 18.
Telemundo has been far more adventurous with its offerings — plenty of risqué narconovelas and shows like Hasta que te conocí, Juan Gabriel’s hit, multi-episode biography — while Univison has mostly stuck to its cheesy novela rosa remakes and beauty pageants (Nuestra Belleza Latina).
Curiously — and even more so than Telemundo — Univison has been heavily courting the millennial eyeball, which is why they launched Fusion, it’s “multicultural” network, in the first place. Oh, and, yes: that’s also the reason why they bought all those HIP-TURNT-HASTAG-SLAYED websites such as The Onion, which Univison
mistakenly assumes millennials are totally snapchatting about.
Now, somewhat hilariously, Univision is integrating Fusion into Gawker Media:
The majority of Fusion’s editorial staff voted last week to unionize. The Wall Street Journal reported last month that, according to employees, executives had discouraged that development. Lee said that those employees who had voted to join the Writers Guild of America union, and who were being laid off, would be given the same severance as other union employees within Gizmodo Media Group. He added that he has no objection to employees unionizing. Lee said that the layoffs involve business-side and editorial employees throughout Univision.As part of the restructuring, Fusion and the Root will join Gizmodo Media Group, the former Gawker sites: Deadspin, Jezebel, Gizmodo, Lifehacker, Kotaku and Jalopnik.
Lest we forget, Gawker used to bully Fusion like a skinny cheerleader bullies a multicultural chubby nerd. If all of this was an ’80s high school flick, chubby-ass Fusion is about to see skinny-ass Gawker get their comeuppance in the parking lot RIGHT IN FRONT OF THE WHOLE CLASS, YOU GUYS.