A pair of key NBC executives have extended their contracts and expanded their roles. Paul Telegdy, executive VP, alternative programming at NBC and Universal Television, has been named president, alternative and reality group, NBC Entertainment. Meredith Ahr, executive VP, alternative programming, has been named president of Universal Television Alternative Studio, a new initiative that will supply shows to NBC and other networks.
NBC calls Universal Television Alternative Studios a “parallel” to scripted studio Universal Television.
NBC’s alternative department includes The Voice, Little Big Shots and American Ninja Warrior. Telegdy continues to report to Robert Greenblatt, chairman, NBC Entertainment, while Ahr continues to report to Telegdy.
Telegdy has been in his current post since 2011. His oversight includes NBC’s annual specials, including the Golden Globe Awards and The Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade. He’s also overseeing the relaunch of “The New Celebrity Apprentice,” hosted by Arnold Schwarzenegger.
“Paul is in a class by himself in the area of alternative programming, which is one of the biggest strengths of NBC and a key reason why we have returned to a leadership position among networks,” said Greenblatt. “He has a vision of the future and his finger is on the pulse of what is exciting in this space, and it was a priority of mine to continue to tap him as a major resource for this company. Part of the strategy was setting up a studio, to be run by Meredith, that will provide us with the biggest reality hits of the future, whether on NBC or other programming services and to territories around the world. Paul comes to us with a global understanding of this business.”
Ahr’s career at NBC began in 2001 when she joined the network as a page in New York. Reporting to Ahr will be senior VPs Enrique Guillen, George Sealey and Fernando Hernandez.
“Meredith is an exceptional creative executive and leader, with the rare combination of being fiercely competitive, smart and humble,” said Telegdy. “There is not a successful alternative franchise on this network that hasn’t been influenced and energized by her expertise and insight into what audiences crave. We are all extremely confident that Meredith, in her new role, will create opportunities for strategic partnerships that will produce content for all platforms and deliver formats that translate to any marketplace.”
New Universal Television alternative series to debut over the next several months include The Wall, from executive producer LeBron James and host Chris Hardwick, and Better Late Than Never, featuring William Shatner, Henry Winkler, Terry Bradshaw, George Foreman and Jeff Dye.