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NBCUniversal Vice Chair Ron Meyer Steps Down After Admitting To Affair And Extortion Attempt

File photo: Ron Meyer, vice chairman of NBCUniversal, attends a conference in July 2018 in Sun Valley, Idaho. Meyer has been forced out of the company. (Drew Angerer/Getty Images)
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Ron Meyer, the former top talent agent who held senior positions at NBCUniversal for a quarter century, has been forced out of the media company after he revealed an extramarital affair and said he was the victim of a related extortion plot.

"Based on Ron’s disclosure of these actions, we have mutually concluded that Ron should leave the company, effective immediately,” NBCUniversal CEO Jeff Shell said in a statement Tuesday.

Meyer, who was a former partner at Creative Artists Agency, was one of Hollywood’s longest-serving moguls. While his tenure at NBCUniversal did not include the kind of mega-deals orchestrated by the Walt Disney Co., Meyer had stabilized the studio following a series of ownership and leadership changes.

Meyer’s units at NBCUniversal (itself a division of Comcast) included its theme parks, movie studio, the NBC network, cable channels such as USA and Bravo, and the new streaming service Peacock. Just two weeks ago, NBCUniversal forced out NBC Entertainment chairman Paul Telegdy for allegedly creating a toxic workplace.

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"I recently disclosed to my family and the company that I made a settlement, under threat, with a woman outside the company who had made false accusations against me," Meyer said in a statement.

“After I disclosed this matter to the company, we mutually decided that I should step down from my role as Vice Chairman of NBCUniversal. I’ve spent 25 years helping to grow and support an incredible company in a job I love.”

Meyer did not identify the woman with whom he had the affair. But Variety and The Hollywood Reporter identified her as the same actress who had been involved in a relationship that cost another studio chief his job last year, Warner Bros. chief Kevin Tsujihara.

Meyer said in his statement that he had reached a settlement with the woman with whom he had an affair, but “other parties” had “continuously attempted to extort me into paying them money or else they intended to falsely implicate NBCUniversal, which had nothing to do with this matter, and to publish false allegations about me.”

Like a lot of media companies, NBCUniversal has been hit hard by the pandemic, with revenue in the last fiscal quarter plummeting more than 25%, largely because of theme park losses.

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