Gavin Leaving Arco to Take Post at Univisa

Times Staff Writer

Former U.S. Ambassador to Mexico John Gavin is resigning as a vice president of Atlantic Richfield to become president of Univisa Satellite Communications, a new subsidiary of the Univisa Spanish-language broadcasting empire, it was announced Monday.

Gavin, 56, will represent Los Angeles-based Univisa’s interests in the expanding field of satellite communications, the company said. Gavin, who was U.S. ambassador to Mexico from May, 1981, to May, 1986, has been Arco’s vice president of federal and international relations since last June. His resignation is effective Thursday; his job at Arco will not be filled, the company said.

Univisa also is the parent company of Univision, formerly known as Spanish International Network, which provides Spanish-language news and entertainment programming to its 409 U.S. affiliates. Gavin, a former actor whose term as ambassador was marked by controversy, has been linked before to the fast-growing field of Spanish-language broadcasting.

Fluent in Spanish, Gavin was part of an investor group that bid to buy KMEX Channel 34 in Los Angeles and four other major Spanish-language television stations last year.


The stations, which are being sold to a group led by Hallmark, were put up for sale to settle a shareholder lawsuit and to resolve objections by the Federal Communications Commission.

Gavin, in a statement, described his new job as a “unique opportunity offered by Univisa to help chart its future” and “a challenge I couldn’t resist.” Gavin was unavailable for further comment Monday.

“We are truly sorry to see Jack Gavin go and will miss his wise counsel,” said Lodwick M. Cook, Arco chairman and chief executive.

“We realize he has been given a wonderful opportunity at Univisa,” Cook added.