Manuel Villanueva will leave Mediaset in December after 22 years as number 2 and Content Director

Number 2 of the Telecinco publishing group, and one of the survivors of the stage Paolo Vasile With more power, he will close the stage at the end of the year, according to network sources, after agreeing to retire amicably and after two decades of success. One of the names that Alessandro Salem has on the table is that of Ghislain Barrois, with a very suitable profile to occupy the position: he is an in-house person and CEO of the Mediterranean and Telecinco Cinema production company conglomerate.

Alessandro Salem continues with the design of the new Mediaset España in the face of the imminent departure of Manuel Villanueva, 67, who, as television sources tell Informalia, will leave his position at the end of December. Villanueva is perhaps the only manager in the Spanish television industry who has succeeded as ‘boss’ in four networks (Telecinco, Antena 3, Canal+ and Televisión de Galicia) but he will say goodbye after agreeing to leave amicably with Mediaset.

Although it was noted a year and a half ago that Villanueva’s intention was to leave hand in hand with Paolo Vasile on January 1, 2023, a request from the Berlusconi family invited him to park his retirement and remain on the front line of fire and extend her tasks as number 2 of the editor of Telecinco.

The company positively values ​​the work of the Galician journalist, who, together with Paolo Vasile, is key in the 3.6 billion euros of profits reaped in just over 20 years by the company with operational headquarters in Fuencarral (and tax headquarters in the Netherlands). Villanueva has had to act as bridge at the transition between Vasile and Salem. The latter has promoted a television similar to what there was but somewhat whiter, although to date, it has not managed to reap the fruits of yesteryear. It is true that he is showing signs of recovery with some successes such as survivors, although it has not yet found its place in prime time or access, and is still fighting to recover the afternoons with the battle between Ana Rosa Quintana and Sonsoles Ónega.

Villanueva, key in Sálvame’s goodbye

The Galician manager has acknowledged being the architect of the farewell of Save me and this past fall he tried to mitigate the noise with statements to The voice of Galicia in which it took away the fall of Telecinco, which has had almost 2 years of defeats against Antena 3 and a few months ago it even lost second place for a period against La 1 de TVE. “Mediaset is going through a time of change and these are always complicated. You have to make those changes and people have to perceive them and adapt to them. Despite everything, we are not dissatisfied and I think that, little by little, we will put things together” , he assured.

“What we really want is to be leaders in profitability and if, in addition, we can be leaders in audience, much better. We want to be very competitive and profitable and for as many people to see us as possible,” he added.

He also wanted to take pressure off Ana Rosa Quintana due to her defeats against Sonsoles Ónega: “She has to adapt to her new territory and all adaptations are difficult. Especially because she was in the afternoons a long time ago and those were different times. But the confidence that we have in her and her production company is extensive. She has great experience and we believe that little by little her proposal will grow,” he noted.

Telecinco has opened 2024 on the right foot after recovering second place. The network has once again exceeded 10% share thanks to the success of the reality show that is now produced by Bulldog TV’s Cuarzo en ligar, the significant rise in the Chain Reaction contest, and the timid consolidation of TardeAR, which naturally assumes its second place.

The favorite

Alessandro Salem is considering several names to replace Manuel Villanueva as Content Director of the television group. There is a woman from the house in the pool but the main one to assume the position is a man, also from the house, Ghislain Barrois. The French-born manager began his career in 1994 with the Prisa Group (Sogepaq and Canal+) and in 1996 he signed as Purchasing Director of Telecinco, which is a position that he has maintained and combined since 2008 as CEO of Telecinco Cinema and since 2018 with the position general director of the conglomerate of production companies owned by Mediaset España, Mediterráneo (which includes Unicorn Content, Mandarina Producciones, Fénix Media and Alea Media). Vilanueva’s is not the only significant move at the top of the audiovisual giant: just a few weeks ago, Stefano Sala, executive president of Publiespaña, decided to dispense with Francisco Alum, commercial director for decades, from the Vasile era.

Manuel Villanueva, a successful career

Manuel Villanueva began his career at Radio Pontevedra (Cadena SER), moved to Radio 80 Pontevedra and in 1985 was part of the founding team of the public regional channel Radio Galega, later moving to the head of Broadcasting and Programming of Galician Television. With the arrival of private companies, in 1990 the manager became Director of Programming at the newborn Telecinco, from which he jumped to Canal+ to assume the same position and later became Head of Content at Antena 3. In 2002 he returned to Telecinco under the orders of Vasile, who created a television that was as profitable as it was controversial.

Villanueva and Galicia

Villanueva has never cut the umbilical cord with his land, as he has shown in recent times. The man from Pontevedra was named ‘Adopted Son of Ourense’ by the Provincial Council, gave the proclamation of his native Marín, won the Álvaro Cunqueiro prize organized by different organizations in his land with the article “Brief history of a Galician stew in Madrid”, and obtained the Silver Badge of the Galician Film and Video Festivals.

In addition, last fall he received the OUFF Television Award at the 28th edition of the Ourense Film Festival (OUFF), which recognized “the extensive and successful professional career in the world of television” of the journalist born in Marín in 1957.

The still number 2 of Mediaset Spain has collaborated in Pontevedra newspaper, La Voz de Galicia (where he has published laudatory texts about ‘his’ Celta), La Región, Faro de Vigo, the magazine Luzes, Tapas, the newspaper El Mundo or the defunct digital newspaper Nius with a gastronomic section. He has also been the author of the books ‘On the Primitive Path. Pilgrimage to Compostela’ (Fundación Caixa Galicia, 2008, co-author with Jesús Villamil) or ‘Word of Wine’ (Muddy Waters Books, 2021).