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Univision and Televisa's chief of content, Isaac Lee, steps down

Univision and Televisa's chief of content, Isaac Lee, steps down
Isaac Lee took over as Univision and Televisa's head of content in early 2017 and spearheaded the companies’ programming strategy to boost viewership. (Imeh Akpanudosen / Getty Images)

Isaac Lee, the chief content officer of Univision Communications who led the company’s combined programming unit with Mexico’s Televisa and who oversaw such diverse content as Gizmodo and the satirical news site the Onion, is stepping down from his post after more than seven years with the Spanish-language broadcaster.

Univision announced Tuesday that Lee has decided to resign after completing the task of aligning the content operations of both Univision and Televisa. The company said Lee will start his own production company developing the same type of diverse, independent content designed for a global audience.

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During his tenure at New York-based Univision, Lee spearheaded the joint effort between the broadcaster and Televisa to produce a pipeline of Spanish-language shows at a time when demand for traditional telenovela series was in decline. Univision had long relied on Televisa’s shows, which were produced in Mexico City.

Lee joined Univision in December 2010 as president of its news division, after a career in journalism. He helped to launch Fusion, the multiplatform, English-language division that caters to young audiences.

As Univision’s chief content officer, he oversaw all content including the Root, the Onion and Gizmodo Media.

He also created the Los Angeles-based Story House Entertainment, which produces scripted and non-scripted programming in English and Spanish, including the series “El Chapo,” which was co-produced with Netflix.

“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,” Haim Saban, Univision’s board chairman, 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.”

Lee said in a statement: “I want to thank my extraordinarily talented and hard-working colleagues at Univision, as well as Haim and the entire Board, for all the support I have received in my nearly eight years at Univision.”

Lee’s departure comes at a time of growing challenges facing Univision, which in April eliminated more than 150 positions.

Once the dominant Spanish-language media giant, Univision has struggled to remain relevant among Spanish-speaking audiences, and it has faced growing competition from Telemundo.

11:25 a.m.: This article was updated with staff reporting.

This article was originally published at 10:20 a.m.

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