Bonnie Hammer Upped to Vice Chairman of NBCUniversal; Pearlena Igbokwe to Chairman of NBCUniversal Content Studios

Comcast Corp. continues to restructure senior management in the aftermath of several abrupt senior executive departures at NBCUniversal.

The media giant Sept. 9 announced that 30-year veteran Bonnie Hammer has been tapped to take former NBCUniversal vice chairman Ron Meyer’s position, while Pearlena Igbokwe replaces Hammer in the chairman position of the NBCUniversal Content Group, which includes Universal Television, Universal Content Productions and NBCUniversal International Studios. Both positions report to NBCUniversal CEO Jeff Shell.

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Meyer, 75, exited the studio last month after 25 years following disclosure of a personal affair with a young actress. His ouster followed the dismissal of NBC Entertainment chairman Paul Telegdy, who was shown the door following allegations of promoting a hostile work environment.

“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,” Shell said in a statement regarding Igbokwe, Hammer promotions. “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 lauded Hammer’s “deep industry experience” and “impeccable creative instincts” as key to her promotion. “I am extremely pleased to be gaining Bonnie as a trusted adviser,” Shell said. “Her 25-plus years of prosocial advocacy will be immensely valuable to me and our company.”

NBC Universal Picks Comcast’s Matt Strauss to Run Peacock Streaming Service

As media companies ready a host of new over-the-top video streaming platforms, management shuffles appear to be part of the transition.

NBC Universal, which is launching branded Peacock streaming service early next year, has reportedly picked Comcast executive Matt Strauss to head the platform, replacing Bonnie Hammer, who transitions to a new position overseeing broadcast and cable studio operations, according to Variety, which first reported the move.

Both Hammer and Strauss have featured prominently in Media Play News‘ Digital Drivers annual feature story.

“Bonnie’s great taste, deep Hollywood relationships, and strong track record of generating popular and award-winning programming make her ideally suited to oversee this new division,” Steven Burke, CEO of NBC Universal, said in a statement.”

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Burke contends Hammer’s expertise in both digital and network distribution will be integral to the future success of “our streaming business,” including acquiring content for Peacock.

Bonnie Hammer, Matt Strauss, Paul Telegedy, George Cheeks

Under Hammer, NBC Universal unveiled the Peacock brand for its streaming service that will be an unpriced add-on to Xfinity subscribers and non-subs.

Strauss, EVP of Xfinity Services,  earlier this year helped launch Xfinity Flex — a $5 monthly service offering Xfinity broadband-only subs direct access (for a separate fee) to Netflix, Amazon Prime Video and HBO Now, in addition to ad-supported content, and digital movies for sale and rent.

Xfinity Flex comes with more than 10,000 free online movies and TV shows — including live streaming TV — from ESPN3, Xumo, Pluto, Tubi TV, Cheddar, YouTube and more.

In other changes, Paul Telegdy will be the sole chairman of NBC Entertainment. Telegdy’s previous co-chair George Cheeks now reports to Hammer.