Univision CEO Randy Falco's contract extended

Univision CEO Randy Falco's contract extended
Univision Communications has extended the employment contract of its CEO Randy Falco, shown in 2007. (Seth Wenig / Associated Press)

Univision Communications has extended Chief Executive Randy Falco's contract, keeping him in charge of the nation's largest Spanish-language media company for another three years.

The New York media company, which operates the nation's-fifth largest television network, announced Thursday that Falco was now under contract through January 2018.

"Since taking the helm in 2011, Randy has successfully guided Univision through a period of exceptional growth and innovation, adeptly navigating a climate of unprecedented industry change and positioning the company for the future," Univision Chairman Haim Saban said in a statement.

Univision, which is privately held, is preparing for a possible public offering of its shares sometime this year so that its private investors can begin to make their long-planned exit. The owners are expected to offer 50% or less of the company's stock to the public.

The ownership group, which includes Saban, acquired Univision in 2007 in a highly leveraged transaction that left the company swimming in debt.

However, Univision has dramatically improved its balance sheet during the last three years since Falco, a former top NBC and AOL executive, stepped into the top job amid a recovery of the U.S. economy.

Univision has added a handful of cable channels under Falco's watch, including the fast growing Univision Deportes sports channel. It rebranded its secondary broadcast network UniMas and invested in upstart channels El Rey and Fusion. (Fusion is a joint venture with Walt Disney Co.'s ABC).

Univision owns 61 television stations; including the popular KMEX-TV (Channel 34) in Los Angeles, 67 radio stations and television and radio production facilities in Miami and Los Angeles.

Twitter: @MegJamesLAT