Consulting firm recommends Fusion Media Group cut budget by third

Consulting firm recommends Fusion Media Group cut budget by third

A consulting firm hired by Univision Communications Inc. has recommended the company reduce the budget of its subsidiary Fusion Media Group by a third and make layoffs that have already begun to hit the TV channel's dwindling staff.

The Wall Street Journal reports that Boston Consulting Group has recommended to Univision executives in its preliminary assessment that Fusion's budget be cut by as much as 35 percent.

The report stressed that the final amount of budget cuts across Univision, which has been owned by private equity firms since 2007, could still change.

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“We are undergoing a review to ensure that UCI is best positioned to compete in a media industry that is rapidly evolving. This includes looking at all aspects of our business,” a Univision representative told the Journal. “By taking steps to streamline parts of our operations, we will be better positioned to invest in areas of growth that will best serve our audiences, community and partners into the future.”

Some layoffs have already begun to hit the media company. In the past week, the presidents of both Fusion Media Group and the Fusion cable network have been laid off, according to the report. Streamlining operations at the cable channel is a top priority for the recommendations.

“This is cutting into muscle,” one person familiar with the discussions told the Journal. “These are not operations that are running with a lot of overhead.”

In 2016, Univision won a court-administered auction to purchase several websites formerly under the Gawker umbrella, including Gizmodo, Jezebel and Deadspin.

Some digital staffers at the company voiced their frustration to the Journal.

“They’re deep cuts for a business that isn’t in trouble,” a person familiar with the discussions told the Journal. “It’s taking money out of the digital business, which is roughly running at break-even, to shore up the declining ratings.”