Univision, the Spanish language news giant, shifts its approach to Trump

When Donald Trump ran for reelection in 2020, his campaign called Univision, the nation’s most influential Spanish-language network, “a leftist propaganda machine and a mouthpiece of the Democrat Party.”

“We shall treat them accordingly,” top advisers promised.

Three years later, Trump is treating Univision and its new corporate owners like long-lost friends. He hosted a trio of its executives at Mar-a-Lago last week during an hour-long Univision interview that was notable for its gracious tone, starting with a question about how well he is doing among Latino voters in early general election polling.

Trump son-in-law Jared Kushner, a friend of one of the executives, helped arrange the interview and was also in the room, according to multiple people familiar with the event.

“All you have to do is look at the owners of Univision. They’re unbelievable entrepreneurial people, and they like me,” Trump said in response to the question about Latino voters.

The reversal has shocked Democrats — who are preparing a massive ad campaign to brand Trump as hostile to Latino interests — and some journalists inside Univision, who think that the past week has demonstrated the heavy hand of their new corporate bosses. The Mexican media company Grupo Televisa, which has long fostered a close relationship with Mexican political leaders, merged with Univision in 2021.

The Democratic alarm further spiked two days later, when Univision advertising representatives told the Biden campaign that spots already purchased to run during the Trump interview in Nevada, Arizona, Pennsylvania and Florida had been canceled — owing to a heretofore unannounced policy about opposition advertising in single-candidate interviews.

Univision also canceled a booking with Biden’s Hispanic Media Director Maca Casado to respond to the Trump interview after it aired on the network’s late news broadcast, according to people familiar with the details, who like others spoke on the condition of anonymity for this article because they were not authorized to speak publicly.

Not since 2004, when former president George W. Bush outperformed expectations among Latino voters, has the Spanish-speaking population been so up for grabs in a presidential contest, according to early polling. Democrats now fear they are losing their access to a network that has been instrumental in past elections in aggressively reporting on Trump’s immigration policies and their effect on Latino viewers.

The concerns were first raised in November 2022, when Univision took the unusual step of interrupting programming to cover Trump’s Mar-a-Lago campaign announcement live. When Biden gave an Oct. 19 prime time address on Israel and Ukraine, the network cut away from the remarks midway, directing viewers to an online stream of the remarks, according to a Democratic media tracker.

“The new ownership is essentially co-opting and kidnapping the soul and mission of what Univision has been up to now, and they are serving it up on a silver platter to Donald Trump,” said Maria Cardona, a political consultant and member of the Democratic National…

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