Bonnie Hammer is moving up to NBCUniversal’s corporate office, taking the role of vice chairman held by Ron Meyer until his abrupt resignation last month.
In addition, Universal Television president Pearlena Igbokwe will now run the entire TV group as chairman of Universal Studio Group. She will have responsibility over Universal Television, Universal Content Productions (UCP) and NBCUniversal International Studios and report directly to NBCU CEO Jeff Shell.
As president of Universal Television, Igbokwe oversaw such critical and commercial hits as “Russian Doll,” “The Good Place,” “Superstore,” “Brooklyn Nine-Nine,” “New Amsterdam,” and Dick Wolf’s new “FBI” and “FBI: Most Wanted.” Dawn Olmstead, president of UCP, and Jeff Wachtel, president of NBCUniversal International Studios, will now report directly to Igbokwe.
Hammer, who joined Universal Television as a programming executive in 1989, most recently served as chair of NBCUniversal Content Studios. She will now serve as a corporate adviser, still reporting to Shell and drawing on her industry experience and commitment to social initiatives. Hammer’s duties will differ somewhat from Meyer’s, who was more predominately tied into NBCU’s film business, considering his 18 years running Universal Studios as president and COO. Hammer will advise more prominently on the TV side.
Meyer abruptly stepped down in August after he disclosed to Shell his previous relationship with actress Charlotte Kirk, ending his celebrated tenure in the industry in embarrassment. Meyer had reached a financial settlement with Kirk for an undisclosed an amount, but an insider told TheWrap that third parties were trying to extort Meyer and force him to disclose the settlement to NBCUniversal. An NBCU spokesperson confirmed the company has hired an outside investigator to see if Meyer improperly used company money or resources with either the affair or its cover-up.
“This is an exciting time for our business, with demand for entertainment content at an all-time high and more distribution platforms available than ever before. Our television studios are key growth engines for the company, and Pearlena is ideally suited to lead them. She has extraordinary taste and is well-respected within NBCU, and throughout the global creative community,” Shell said in a statement. “I am extremely pleased to be gaining Bonnie as a trusted advisor,” Shell continued. “Her deep industry experience, impeccable creative instincts and 25-plus years of prosocial advocacy will be immensely valuable to me and our company.”
Hammer added in her own statement: “Over the course of my career at NBCUniversal, I have been fortunate to touch every aspect of the television business and I am ready to take on this new corporate role. It is the perfect next chapter and I am delighted to pass the baton to Pearlena. She has a long track record of success and is the ideal person to take the helm of the studio group.”
Read original story Bonnie Hammer to Replace Ron Meyer as NBCU Vice Chair, Pearlena Igbokwe to Run TV Studio Group At TheWrap