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Wade Davis. (Dario Acosta/Courtesy of Viacom)
Wade Davis. (Dario Acosta/Courtesy of Viacom)

Should the owner of Univision speak Spanish?

Wade Davis, a former finance manager at Viacom, has admitted to not handling the language of his new company's contents.

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Wade Davis, a former finance manager at Viacom, doesn’t speak Spanish.

While some may wonder if the entrepreneur's language skills are really important, the fact that he will be the new owner of the large North American network of Latino content, Univision Communications Inc., puts the Latino Representation debate back on the table.

Despite not knowing the language, Davis has faith in his learning abilities and in this upcoming acquisition. In an interview with Bloomberg last week, he said that Spanish-language content has a large market in the United States. "Language is incredibly relevant to Latinos from an identity point of view as well as a cultural point of view...And I think that as a whole, this audience prefers to see content in Spanish," said the new owner of Univision Communications Inc.

Univision has been looking for a buyer since July 2019 due to the normal problems faced by a television network in the streaming era –with the additional disadvantage of having considerable debt, a drop in audience rates, and a decrease in Spanish-speaking immigrants over the past 10 years.

Davis' investment firm, ForgeLight, is backed by Searchlight Capital Partners, which will acquire 64% of Univision, while Televisa will retain its 36% stake. For the former Viacom, the acquisition is a win-win for Dya as "from a competitive point of view, the market is open. The community needs a scaled, differentiated and relevant service," said Davis.

The CEO's goal is to be able to speak Spanish at the time of the acquisition.

Maybe starting with soap operas isn't such a bad idea.

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