Profile: Chief Has Deep Roots in Spanish Broadcast

Nov 22, 2004  •  Post A Comment

By Lee Alan Hill

Special to TelevisionWeek

When Joanne Lynch assumed the top job at Galavision as senior VP and general manager in August 2002, parent company Univision was not simply promoting from within. It was handing the reins to an executive who had spent most of her professional career in Spanish-language broadcasting and cable, beginning in radio.

That is why Ray Rodriguez, Univision’s president and chief operating officer, called her “the ideal person to lead Galavision” into its next phase of development.

The results under Ms. Lynch’s guidance have been impressive. During the second quarter of 2004 alone the network’s audience of adults 18 to 49 grew 26 percent in total day and 41 percent in daytime compared with last year, according to the Nielsen Hispanic Television Index. The third quarter saw ratings for Galavision’s evening newscast “Noticiero con L. Ayala” shoot up 114 percent from the year before.

Responding to questions by e-mail, a Galavision staffer said on Ms. Lynch’s behalf that the ratings spurt during her tenure reflects “the value that the growing U.S. Hispanic audience places in our network.”

A graduate of Niagara University, Ms. Lynch joined Univision in 1991 as new business account executive before the company’s sale to A. Jerrold Perenchio and partners.

According to a company spokesperson, Galavision strictly adheres to Mr. Perenchio’s philosophy that the company and its product are more important than any individual employee. In light of that, Galavision would not make Ms. Lynch available to be interviewed, nor would it disclose much personal information about her. All questions for her were requested in writing and answered selectively.

Larry Bills, an editor at the Hoover’s Online Web site who covers Univision, said he has found it to be “a growing company, but very low-profile,” adding, “I don’t know much about Lynch, but she is apparently doing a good job with [Galavision].”

Before joining Univision, Ms. Lynch was with Cox Communications for 14 years. She also worked for TK Communications, guiding radio station KXTN-AM/FM from English-language to Spanish. With Ms. Lynch as general manager, KXTN became the No. 1 station in its San Antonio market.

Ms. Lynch’s spokesperson said via e-mail that Galavision’s growth “demonstrates that if we consistently provide a compelling Spanish-language entertaining product for our viewers, our network will continue to draw even more fans.”