People/Biz

NBCU unscripted head Meredith Ahr exits

Meredith Ahr, president of NBCUniversal’s alternative and reality programming group, is exiting from the network, Realscreen has confirmed. With today (October 12) being her last day at the network, Ahr’s ...
October 12, 2020

Meredith Ahr, president of NBCUniversal’s alternative and reality programming group, is exiting from the network, Realscreen has confirmed.

With today (October 12) being her last day at the network, Ahr’s departure follows that of NBC co-chairman Paul Telegdy this past summer. Telegdy’s exit was announced as part of a company restructuring, conducted under CEO Jeff Shell, who has aligned NBCU’s television networks under its new television and streaming division, led by Mark Lazarus.

The restructuring, however, was also taking place amid the backdrop of an investigation into company culture and allegations of a “toxic” work environment, specifically within the reality division.

According to the Hollywood Reporter, which first reported Ahr’s exit, the investigation found that the behavior of both Ahr and Telegdy did not meet company standards.

Ahr was upped to president of the alternative and reality group in 2018, from her previous role as head of Universal Television Alternative Studio, which she took on in 2016. In her most recent role, she had oversight of the studio as well as all aspects of unscripted programming at NBC and first-run syndication. She first joined the network as a page in 2001.

It’s the latest executive shake-up impacting the network, coming days after the confirmation of former Warner Bros. Television executive Susan Rovner taking the role of chairman, entertainment content, for NBCU’s television and streaming division. She’s now tasked with lead creative strategy for original entertainment across NBCU’s broadcast, cable and streaming platforms: NBC, Bravo, E!, Oxygen, Syfy, Universal Kids and Peacock.

As announced in tandem with Telegdy’s departure, NBCU’s entertainment business unit now reports to Lifestyle Networks president Frances Berwick, who now heads up the business of mapping out the programming strategy and content spend across the TV entertainment brands.

Berwick now has operational oversight of all networks and dayparts and is responsible for commissioning and acquiring content to be optimized across these platforms.

Previously, Berwick ran NBCU’s lifestyle networks business (Bravo, E!, Oxygen and Universal Kids).

(With files from Jillian Morgan and Frederick Blichert)

About The Author
Jillian Morgan is a special reports editor at realscreen with a background in journalism and digital marketing. She joined the publication in 2019 after serving as the assistant editor to trade publications HPAC and On-Site. With a bachelor of journalism from the University of King's College in Halifax, she also works as a freelance writer and fact-checker.

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