Mystery Hispanic media firm to expand with high-pay jobs
By Risa Polansky
A Hispanic electronic media production company touted as one of South Florida's largest media sector employers is looking to expand space and add jobs.
Miami is in the running for the 40 high-paying positions — average salary is about $80,000 plus benefits — though other US or Latin American cities could get the business.
Miami-Dade commissioners in committee last week initially approved without discussion $841,167 in incentives to keep the expanding company here.
Company names are often kept confidential during the incentive process to help maintain a competitive edge.
It's unclear which of Miami's Hispanic media companies this could be.
Calls to local industry players were inconclusive, though some said to rule out smaller operations given the size of the mystery company's 385-person existing workforce, leaving Telemundo and Univision and their subsidiaries potential candidates.
Others said those companies may be too big to fit the bill.
Communications officials from both companies did not return a request for comment on potential local expansion.
Discovery Networks Latin America came up as another possibility.
The mystery company — "a subsidiary of a leading provider of pay-TV television content for Spanish and Portuguese speaking audiences" — employs 385 staffers at its local facility, county documents say.
"The Company is one of the largest media sector employers in the region, contributing significantly to Miami's status as a Latin media cluster through its interactions with the locally-based advertising community and a large local vendor base," documents say. "As a leading exporter of media content, the Company also contributes to the community's status as a cultural capital of Latin America and the US Hispanic market."
The company distributes its programming to more than 24 million homes throughout Latin America, the Caribbean and the US, the documents say, and "the company's two leading channels are rated in the top 10 of all pay-TV networks in most markets in Latin America."
The company plans to make a $42 million capital investment and create a total 40 new jobs, five in 2012, five by the close of 2013 and 30 more by 2014's end.
The average $80,000 salary would be at least 200% of the average wage in Florida and almost 185% of Miami-Dade's $43,284 average wage, the documents say.
The county would dole out its $841,167 in incentives over six years, and only if job promises were fulfilled.
It's not a sure thing the company will stay in Miami.
"The business has started to outgrow its current building and multiple relocation options are currently under review, including sites in Miami and Latin America, as well as using current infrastructure at the parent company's corporate headquarters outside the State of Florida," the documents say.
They also say "Primary option is to move the current business activities to existing infrastructure owned by the parent company in the mid-Atlantic region. Alternative option is to move TV production center to Argentina."
The company is looking to lease and build out a facility to house "all company activities," like management, sales and TV production, documents say.
"Incentives are the key determinate in the Company's location decision."