Hurricane Irma is threatening Florida, and Spanish-language broadcasters Telemundo and Univision aren’t taking any chances.
Telemundo has evacuated its Hialeah, Florida headquarters, TheWrap has learned. To be clear, it’s not the new $250 million offices we reported on last year — that new location isn’t ready yet. Construction there is still on schedule for an early 2018 move-in.
“Our employees’ safety is our first and foremost concern,” an NBCUniversal spokesperson told us. “We have an emergency plan in place and make sure that they are given ample time to make the necessary arrangements. We also have a hotline for them to check in daily and provide regular updates via email.”
“We work together across all our business units to execute a business continuity plan so that we are able to stay on air both at Telemundo and Universo,” the Telemundo rep continued. “We will be sending some of our crews, operations and shows to different NBCU locations to ride out the storm and continue normal operations without affecting our air.”
Of course, the Comcast-owned channel isn’t the only game in town there. New York City-based Univision also has a major presence in the South Florida area. Here’s what a rep there told TheWrap about their plans:
We are taking every measure possible to protect the safety of our employees, maintain the security of our facilities and ensure that our entertainment and news programming remains on the air to serve our community in Florida and across the nation. Univision also is leveraging its broadcast and production facilities in other major markets to seamlessly deliver for our many audiences. Our engineering, Operations, HR, Facilities, Global Security, Production and News teams, among many others, have been implementing comprehensive contingency plans.
As of today, all employees who are not directly involved with production in Miami have been asked to work from home or other locations. We plan to close our Miami facilities on Friday evening — and allow only critical, essential members of our operations, security and news teams to remain onsite as we continue serve our audience and community on-air and online. We are taking every precaution to provide for the safety of our employees during and after this weather event.
Irma is expected to make landfall in Florida mid-weekend. The storm already claimed 9 lives as it tore through the Caribbean.
Hialeah is a city in Miami-Dade County. Experts believe Irma will be more devastating to the region than 1992’s Hurricane Andrew.