Agent-turned-studio chief gets new U deal

A survivor of four successive regimes in the last decade, Ron Meyer has renewed his contract to serve as president and chief operating officer of Universal Studios, his latest boss, NBC Universal chief Bob Wright, announced Monday.

Five-year pact will keep Meyer, 60, in place through 2010.

He will continue to oversee U’s film studio, theme parks and studio operations.

Meyer is arguably the most successful current studio exec to have made the jump from agenting. Before joining U in 1995, he was one of the founding partners of CAA.

Edgar Bronfman Jr., whose family company Seagram had purchased U from Matsushita that year, hired Meyer after fellow CAA founder Michael Ovitz dragged his feet in making a deal for the job.

Ovitz took a studio job that year, too. But his tenure with the Walt Disney Co. lasted just 14 months and is still the subject of litigation.

Meanwhile at U, Meyer has emerged as a symbol of stability amid chaotic boardroom escapades.

In his decade on the lot, Meyer has worked for no fewer than four corporate owners and answered to seven different bosses.

Latest contract extension, coming a little over a year since U’s merger with the GE-owned NBC, seems to signal NBC U brass are content to let Meyer continue to run his operations with a certain degree of autonomy.

Announcing the pact, Wright said in a statement, “As an astute and highly regarded leader, Ron has overseen strong growth and achieved excellent results at the studio. I am thrilled he will continue to play a key role at NBC Universal.”

Meyer said in a statement, “Having been at Universal for 10 years and witnessed a great deal of change, I am very excited with how well NBC and Universal have integrated their cultures and with the many unique business opportunities this combination continues to produce.”

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