Falco, a native of the Bronx, NY, attended Iona College, where he received his Bachelor of Business Administration in finance in 1975 and his Master of Business Administration, also in finance, in 1979. He received an honorary doctorate from Iona College in 2001. Randy and his wife Susan have three children. Falco sits on the board of directors of the Ronald McDonald House and is a member of the Advisory Board of the Smithsonian’s National Museum of American History.
Falco began his career at NBC in September 1975. In 31 years with the network, he held several managerial positions in finance, technical operations, and corporate strategic planning. From 1986 to 1991, he served as Vice President of Finance and Administration, NBC Sports. In 1993, Falco was named President of NBC's Broadcast and Network Operations division. He oversaw the facilities and operations of the NBC Television Network worldwide, where he oversaw the design and creation of the Today Show's "Window on the World" studio, MSNBC's state-of-the-art broadcast facilities in Secaucus, N.J., and the digital conversion of the NBC Television Network. He also served as a GE officer.
Discovery Communications President and CEO David Zaslav, a former NBC colleague of Falco’s, said, “Don’t ever underestimate Randy Falco. He doesn’t come in raising his voice, he doesn’t pound on the table. He listens, hears the data and moves forward hard.”
Falco played a key role in the NBC-Universal merger, leading him to be named President of the NBC Universal Television Network Group in 2004. The Wall Street Journal described him as an “unassuming executive” who became a “major player in integrating a daunting collection of operations and personalities.”
When the $14 billion deal was signed in 2004, the transaction represented “a professional crescendo for a pair of longtime NBC executives-Chairman and CEO Bob Wright and his No. 2, Randy Falco-who made the deal happen.” Following the merger, Falco combined the ad sales operations of NBCU’s broadcast and cable units – the first major media company to take that approach. Falco said, “What I was trying to do was just create a more user-friendly environment for our customers and also make it easier for us to manage the inventory from within… across all those different platforms.” He was named president and chief operating officer of the NBC Universal Television Group in December 2005. Falco was responsible for the group’s commercial and operational functions, including affiliate relations and Telemundo.
In February 2000, Falco negotiated the first reverse compensation deal by one of the major broadcast networks. The agreement, “an astonishing reversal of the network compensation policy,” was a 10-year, $362 million deal with Granite Broadcasting that turned KNTV into the NBC affiliate serving San Francisco and San Jose. This approach changed the model so that affiliates would pay the networks for their programming – not the other way around, as had been customary. Falco made the arrangement work for both parties by finding “new revenue streams to be shared by network and stations.”
Beginning with the 1992 Barcelona Olympics, Falco played a key role in NBC’s ongoing success with the Olympic Games. He worked alongside NBC Sports Chairman Dick Ebersol to secure exclusive NBC coverage for five consecutive Olympic Games: 2000, 2002, 2004, 2006, 2008. In his book “Olympic Turnaround,” Michael Payne described the NBC deal to secure the Games as a “coup” that left the other networks “speechless.” The NBC deal with the International Olympic Committee signed 12/12/95 at $2.3 billion for three Games was “the biggest broadcast deal in sports history” at the time.
The Los Angeles Times colorfully described the Olympic deal by saying: “This deal had it all. Speed. Fabulous sums of money. Atlantic crossings on a corporate jet. Clandestine meetings. Double-dealing. And an end game with a spy-like code name: the Sunset Project.” The key to making the deals successful, according to another media report, was “selling huge ad packages over multiple Games.”
Falco served as COO for the 2002 Winter Olympics, the 2000 Summer Olympic, the 1996 Summer Olympics, and the 1992 Summer Olympics, winning multiple Emmy Awards for these broadcasts.
After 31 years with NBC, Falco became Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of AOL in November 2006. As CEO he set strategy and oversaw operations as the company transitioned to an advertising-focused business model. In this restructuring, Falco made 16 strategic acquisitions, eliminated $2.5 billion in costs and moved AOL's headquarters from Dulles to Manhattan. The restructuring also included a series of three workforce restructures. In 2007, a year into his tenure at AOL, Falco was named the recipient of the Frank Stanton Award, honoring excellent leadership in the media field.
Under Falco, AOL acquired social networking website Bebo for $850 million in 2008, but a few months later global financial markets imploded and Bebo's value dropped.
AOL later sold Bebo to Criterion Capital Partners in 2010 for an undisclosed sum which was reportedly under $10 million. In 2009, Falco was replaced as CEO by Google Ad Chief Tim Armstrong. At the time of his departure, AOL’s programming sites had exhibited growth in unique visitors for two years and many of its sites were in the top five in their categories.
Falco has been President and CEO of Univision Communications Inc. (UCI) since June 2011 after starting as Executive Vice President and COO for Univision in January 2011. Since 2011, under Falco’s leadership, Univision has increased its earnings. His contract was recently renewed until January 2018. Falco sits on the board of directors of Univision Communications Inc.
As CEO, Falco has said he is focused on making UCI, which is acknowledged by Business Insider as an “extremely important media brand,” the most heavily engaged media brand. Under his leadership, Univision has undergone a company-wide expansion that has included the launch of new networks, including Univision tlNovelas, Univision Noticias, and Univision Deportes, which features soccer matches from the Mexican Primera División and Ligue 1. In 2013, Univision announced the launch of El Rey, a new network geared towards young-adult audiences led by Robert Rodriguez. That year Univision also rebranded its TeleFutura network into UniMás, which targets males ages 18 to 35, broadcasts telenovelas, soccer events, reruns of classic shows and feature films. In the summer of 2013, Falco negotiated Univision's joint venture with ABC/Disney to launch "Fusion", a 24-hour, English-language cable news network.
Univision’s Galavisión remains the No. 1 Spanish-language cable network. Under Falco, Univision has also forged a partnership with Hulu; started UVideos, a digital online network for streaming content; acquired exclusive multi-year rights to Mexican professional football club Chivas De Guadalajara of Liga MX; and launched several new apps and websites to broaden the distribution of its content across new platforms.
In addition, under Falco, Univision celebrated its 50th anniversary in the fall of 2012 by unveiling a new brand logo and a new tagline identifying Univision as the “Hispanic Heartbeat of America.” In July 2013, Univision announced its quarterly earnings were $40.7 million, 28 percent higher than in 2012. “Our aggressive push to take share from the English-language networks is working,” Falco said.
Under Falco’s guidance, Univision developed the UCI Total Reach Score ratings system. Through this new system, Univision has been able to detect an increased audience of 45 million consumers, an increase of 10 percent from 2013.
In 2013, Falco and his team started the award-winning Univision Contigo (Univision With You). Univision Contigo is an initiative that provides the U.S. Hispanic community with access to information and resources focused on education, health, prosperity and participation.
During Falco's tenure, Univision has expanded its news offerings to Latino audiences. The news division of Univision has increased its emphasis on investigative journalism for which it has attained several recognitions for journalistic excellence, such as the 2012 Peabody Award and IRE Award for its “Fast and Furious” investigation, two Emmy Lifetime Achievement Awards, two Cronkite Award for Excellence in Political Journalism and several prestigious awards for five documentaries produced by the Investigative and Documentary units. Falco was also instrumental in the first Presidential “Meet the Candidates” forums targeted to Hispanic audiences, which featured Presidential Candidates Barack Obama and Mitt Romney in September 2012 on Univision, as well as in the Company’s coverage of the unaccompanied minors crisis at the border, which received the Cronkite Award for Excellence in Political Journalism and its second prestigious King of Spain International Journalism Award.
In 2013, Univision saw significant ratings milestones. In the February sweeps, the network came in fourth place for the first time with adult demographics while NBC came in fifth. In the July sweeps, Univision came in first in 2013 and 2014.
Until 2013, no English-language American broadcast network had been beaten during sweeps. Falco said, “Wrapping up July – during a time when other networks are investing more than ever in summer programming – as the No. 1 network among both Adults 18-49 and 18-34 for the first time, is making history.”
Univision President of Content Distribution Tonia O’Connor said, “Randy has transformed Univision from a Spanish-language television leader to a force in the media landscape. Univision has a lot of momentum in all areas of the business, and make no mistake—it’s all because of Randy.”
Falco has been recognized for his efforts and leadership with issues around children of illegal immigrants in the United States and unaccompanied children at the U.S.–Mexico border following his letter to the U.S. President and legislative leaders, and was awarded the “champion award” by KIND in 2015. The National Academy of Television Arts & Sciences also recognized Falco for his leadership in the industry with the Board of Trustees’ Award, and Cablefax included Randy in its Greatest Hits of for the past three years. In January 2017, Falco was named a recipient of NATPE’s 14th Annual Brandon Tartikoff Legacy Awards for demonstrating a high degree of excellence, vision and leadership through the process of creating compelling content. Additionally, in 2013 Falco was named the MS Hope Award honoree by the National MS Society; inducted into the Broadcasting & Cable Hall of Fame; and was also honored by Ballet Hispanico with its Civic Inspiration Award.