The top executive of Spanish-language media giant TelevisaUnivision defended the company’s recent decision to interview former President Donald Trump in a non-confrontational manner and suggested the media conglomerate was shifting some of its long-held political attitudes.
“We made a decision to adopt a strategy that is different than what some other major networks are using, which has been labeled as partisan,” said Wade Davis, CEO of the company and one of its financial architects, in a statement. Davis, a former Viacom CFO, purchased a majority stake in Univision in 2020, then merged it with Mexican TV provider Televisa in 2022. “Univision’s news strategy is one that is non-partisan and objective, and we serve our audience by being welcoming of competing issues, ideas, candidates and parties. We are here to serve our audience, not any political party, any one candidate or partisan groups.”
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In the past, Univision has taken a dim view of Trump and his policies. Indeed, Davis noted, the interview with the former president marked the first time Univision has had a current or former Republican president on its air in 22 years.
So a recent interview with Trump in which he was not challenged outright by the interviewer raised eyebrows. . The Washington Post reported that Jared Kushner, Donald Trump’s son-in-law, helped arrange the event, and noted that Democrats were alarmed by Univision’s decision to have Trump on at all. The Latino vote is highly desired by both parties and seen in some sectors as being up for grabs in the 2024 election, with some parts of the U.S. Spanish-speaking population showing favor for Trump and Republicans in recent elections.
Trump in the past has denigrated Latinos and taken aim at one of Univision’s best-known personalities, Jorge Ramos.
A coterie of prominent Latino advocacy organizations called for a meeting with Davis earlier this week. And one of Univision’s most prominent anchors, León Krauze, announced his departure within days of the exchange with Trump.
Davis noted that Univision has offered “many interviews of a current or former Democratic President” over the decades. “Further, we have offered, and welcome, an interview with President Biden on reciprocal terms and believe our viewers would greatly appreciate hearing from the President. Univision will continue to maintain this clear vision by giving Democrats, Republicans and independents an equal voice in the coming months, and my hope is that we will be judged based on the entirety of our coverage of the 2024 election.”
Several other national news outlets have sought to curry favor with Republicans in recent years. Nexstar Media’s NewsNation has touted its efforts to toe a more center-based philosophy and Warner Bros. Discovery’s CNN has sought to tamp down criticism of its stance against Trump, who took aim at the news outlet many times, casting aspersion on its newsgathering for months.
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