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Univision content chief Isaac Lee is stepping down from his post at the Spanish-language broadcaster as it looks to dismantle the digital business that he spent the last several building.
After more than seven years at Univision, Lee plans to start his own television production company. His departure comes as Univision undergoes a period of transition as it looks for a path forward following scrapped IPO plans and the appointment of a new CEO.
“I want to thank Isaac for leading Univision’s content team with integrity and courage and helping elevate and position Univision in mainstream American media,” Univision chairman Haim Saban said in a statement. “He understood the relevance that Univision has for Hispanic America and served the audience well. Isaac has vision and knows how to execute. I wish him well and expect more exciting things from him in the future.”
In his years at Univision, Lee has overseen its news and digital divisions. He was a key decision maker in the creation of Fusion joint venture with Disney’s ABC and also led the company’s push into digital through the acquisitions of The Root, The Onion and the Gizmodo Media Group. In January 2017 he was promoted to serve in the joint role of chief content officer for both Univision and its partial owner, Televisa.
Univision is positioning the resignation as the culmination in Lee’s work to align the content operations of Univision and Televisa. But Lee is also leaving during a moment of transition for Univision, which called off plans for an IPO earlier this year and replaced longtime CEO Randy Falco with Vincent Sadusky in June.
In a memo to staff obtained by The Hollywood Reporter, Lee said, “I have spent a good amount of time with Vince Sadusky over the past nearly two months and I know he understands what the company needs to compete successfully at a time of major disruption in the marketplace.”
Meanwhile, Univision is disbanding its digital holdings — once seen as a lynchpin in the company’s IPO plans. In early July, the company said it would explore a sale of the Gizmodo Media Group and The Onion.
“When I arrived at Univision in 2011, I wanted to create the best news department in the country,” Lee wrote in his employee memo. “I wanted Univision Noticias to break original stories, do investigative journalism, and build a digital strategy that would reach an entire new audience of young Latinos. I wanted Jorge Ramos to be recognized everywhere in the United States as the household name he is amongst our core audience. Much has been done to achieve those goals.”
Univision has not said who will replace Lee as chief content officer.
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