The revolving door finally may have stopped spinning at Chicago’s leading Spanish-language television operation.
Despite continued ratings and revenue success, Univision WGBO-Channel 66 and its TeleFutura sister station, WXFT-Channel 60, are on their fifth vice president and general manager in eight years — and their third in just the last three years. That's a lot for any media outlet.
The appointment last June of Larry Sands as regional vice president of Univision Chicago was seen as a stabilizing move for the unit here, although he also continues to oversee the operations of Univision Puerto Rico, where he had been working since 2002. He is based in Chicago.
“Larry is passionate about our industry and most importantly about our role in serving the Hispanic community,” Kevin Cuddihy, president of the Univision Television Group, said in the statement announcing his promotion. “He has been a driving force behind the success of our station in Puerto Rico and spearheaded a revamp of programming, community service initiatives and the construction of a new broadcasting facility. We know his leadership will help propel Univision Chicago to the next level.”
On Wednesday, Sands' predecessor, Carlos San Jose, was hired as vice president and general manager of WTMO-TV, an affiliate of the Telemundo Spanish-language network in Orlando, Florida. San Jose left WGBO/WXFT after two years when his contract was not renewed.
Earlier this month, Bert Medina, who headed WGBO/WXFT from 1998 to 2005, was named vice president and general manager of WPLG-TV, the ABC affiliate in Miami. He was hired by Emily Barr, president and CEO of Post–Newsweek Stations, who previously was president and general manager of ABC-owned WLS-Channel 7.
Medina, who was credited with developing the Univision and TeleFutura stations here into Hispanic powerhouses, went on to become senior vice president and operating manager of the TeleFutura Network. He was followed at WGBO/WXFT by Vincent Cordero, who held the job for five years, Alberto Mier y Terán, who held the job for one, San Jose and Sands.
In addition to the two Chicago TV stations, Univision also owns five Spanish radio stations here — WOJO FM 105.1, WPPN FM 106.7, WRTO AM 1200, WVIV FM 103.1, and WVIX FM 93.5.