Jerry Perenchio

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Jerry Perenchio
Born Andrew Jerrold Perenchio
(1930-12-20) December 20, 1930 (age 85)
Fresno, California, U.S.
Known for former chairman and CEO of Univision
Net worth US$2.7 billion (August 2015)[1]

Andrew Jerrold "Jerry" Perenchio (born December 20, 1930) is the former chairman and CEO of Univision, the largest Spanish-language company in the US.

Early life[edit]

Born in Fresno, California, he relocated to Los Angeles where he worked as a young Hollywood talent agent for MCA and represented such celebrity clients as Marlon Brando, The Monkees, and Elizabeth Taylor.


In 1992, he and his partners spent US$550 million for Univision; his 16% stake is now worth $1.3 billion. In 2003, he paid US$3.5 billion (consideration for a merger: UVN issued 3.5B of stock in exchange for shares of HBC) for the Spanish-language powerhouse radio network, Hispanic Broadcasting.

Along with Bud Yorkin, he also owns the rights to the film Blade Runner, as his bond completion company took ownership of the film when it went over budget. The film was one of the first issued on DVD, but the transfer from film stock was of poor quality, and was soon deleted. For many years, Perenchio refused to allow a new DVD edition of Blade Runner, including a planned 2001 Special Edition, to be issued.

Prior to his work at Univision, he (along with Norman Lear and Bud Yorkin) presided over Tandem Productions/Embassy Television (which oversaw major television hits like Maude, All in the Family, and Diff'rent Strokes). The company sold to Coca-Cola in 1985 (who at the time was the parent of Columbia Pictures, now owned by Sony) for $485 million in Coke shares which later doubled. Sony continues to own the Tandem/ELP catalog. Perenchio was also the founder of the ONTV UHF subscription television service that existed from 1977–1985, when cable television gained enough market share to eliminate most of the pay television services.

In 1985, Perenchio acquired Loews Theaters from the Tisch family for $160 million and sold it barely over one year later for over $300 million to Tri-Star Pictures. This was the first instance of a movie studio owning movie theaters since the passage of the 1955 Paramount consent decree, which had stripped the movie companies of their theaters. In late 1990, at the invitation of his former partner Norman Lear he took over the management of Act III Communications, replacing the four founding entrepreneurs with his own team. While making no changes to Act III, they sold off the holdings in 1994/95, generating over a $500 million profit from Lear's original $65 million investment.

Perenchio's crowning achievement in business terms is perhaps his acquisition and sale of Univision Television, the dominant Spanish-language television network in the US. Perenchio originally attempted to acquire Univision in 1986, but was edged out by Hallmark at approximately $500 million. Hallmark later drowned in debt and filed for bankruptcy. In 1992, in collaboration with Mexican media mogul Emilio Azcarraga, Perenchio took over Univision for $500 million.

In 1993, Perenchio made it possible for a Spanish-language television station to position itself as the first ever foreign-language television station to outperform major English-language television networks like NBC, CBS, ABC and Fox in the ratings. Such achievement was possible after Perenchio instructed one of his young executives, Miguel Banojian, a 25-year-old news operations executive from Univision New York, to "turn around" his Los Angeles operation, one which provided more than 40% of his corporation's revenue. In 2006, Perenchio announced the sale of Univision to an investor group led by Madison Dearborn Partners for $13.5 billion.

Perenchio was also a sports promoter, and in 1973 organized The Battle of the Sexes tennis match between Billie Jean King and Bobby Riggs which was held in Houston at the Astrodome. It drew the largest live audience for any tennis match ever, with 30,472 attendees. [1]. It was broadcast live on ABC in prime time and became a watershed event for Billie Jean King, women’s tennis and to some degree all of women’s sports. Perhaps his most famous promotion was the 1971 "Fight of the Century" featuring legendary heavyweight champions Muhammad Ali and Joe Frazier. This event is credited with creating the market for closed circuit television broadcasts of boxing matches, precursor of today's cable pay-per-view. Perenchio guaranteed a $5m payday to the two fighters, an unheard of sum at the time.

Perenchio's mansion (when owned by the Kirkeby's) in the East Gate Bel Air section of Los Angeles was used for exterior establishing shots in the first few seasons of the situation comedy The Beverly Hillbillies.

He is also a large contributor to the Republican advocacy organization "Progress for America", having given US$4,000,000 in the 2004 election cycle and another US$5,000,000 in the 2006 election cycle. Election records show over $18 million in donations to Republican candidates, party funds and related causes as of 2006.

Personal life[edit]

Has a reputation for being very media shy, shunning press attention for both himself and Univision. Andy Williams was a close friend and sang at his wedding to his current wife. Perenchio himself is reputed to be a talented, classically trained singer. He is famously generous but can be tough minded, even ruthless - the founders of Act III Communications were notoriously stripped of their equity stakes in 1990 when he took over, which equity was then re-distributed to his own team. Executives running his companies have reputedly been summarily dismissed for speaking to the press without his permission. He was also the national co-finance director for John McCain's 2008 presidential nomination. In the 2016 presidential race, he was an early and influential backer of Carly Fiorina.[2]

Perenchio recorded interviews and discussions for the bonus DVD materials in the 2007 release of "Blade Runner Original Cut". Perenchio also received producer "presented by" credit in the packaging.

Much has been made of his "Rules of the Road" with which he manages his holdings. He has never claimed credit for originating the rules, and in fact they probably began in 1920s-era MCA (the band booking service for mobbed up 1920s clubs that became an LA talent agency that would employ Perenchio in the 1950s and 1960s.) The rules included (or have included as they change from time to time) a "no nepotism rule" (though AJP pointed out that his son was on the board of directors) and "no politicians or academicians rule" which was put in after Henry Cisneros' personal scandals embarrassed Perenchio.

In a recent act of Philanthropy, Perenchio has committed to donate 47 artworks from his personal collection to the Los Angeles County Museum of Art, worth an estimated value of $500 million, on the condition that LACMA finish construction of their newest building by 2023.[3]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Jerrold Perenchio topic page. Retrieved 26 August 2015.
  2. ^ Perenchio backs Fiorina NYTimes October 8, 2015
  3. ^ "Why a reclusive billionaire decided to give $500 million in art to LA museum". = L.A. Times. 5 November 2015. Retrieved 11 March 2015. 

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