Univision, struggling and nearly eleven billion dollars in debt, pink-slipped six percent of its workforce Friday, including several top faces at the network’s flagship station in Miami, WLTV, where veteran political reporter Bernadette Pardo and morning anchor Ivan Donoso were among the layoffs. The station also cut sports reporter Veronica Paysse.
At the network level, Univision will stop production on the weekend edition of “Primer Impacto” and the network’s national morning show, “Despierta America” will lose news anchor Fernando Arau.
The extent of the cuts–and the top names involved, particularly that of Pardo–surprised even layoff-weary local newsers in South Florida. “I’m surprised that a woman who has twice nearly lost her life working for that station–in a car bombing in Columbia, and an incident in Geneva–would be discarded so coldly,” said a longtime Miami newser who’s worked alongside Pardo.
The network had little to say about the sudden end to such storied careers, telling the Miami Herald the cuts would make Univision “more efficient in the short-term and better positioned for growth in the long term.”
At least they skipped the “going in a different direction” cliche. You can say that much.