Vet U Intl. TV exec Hughes to retire

Played critical role in inking deals for features, episodes

Veteran international exec Peter Hughes, exec VP and co-head of Universal Intl. TV, will retire at the end of September. UIT is the foreign TV distrib arm of the Hollywood major.

In his current role, Hughes oversaw — together with co-exec VP Steven Jarmus — output and volume deals to the world broadcasters of the studio’s filmed entertainment. He helped, for example, negotiate a key free TV output deal with Germany’s RTL in 1996 and another bigbuck volume deal with Spain’s TVE last year.

Hughes also worked several years ago on the high-price auctions to broadcasters throughout Europe for a clutch of Steven Spielberg film titles, including “Jurassic Park” and “Schindler’s List.”

During his tenure with the studio, Hughes also played a critical role in distributing Universal’s library of 24,000 episodes and more than 3,000 current and library features. He has been with the studio for the last 22 years.

“Peter is a highly regarded executive in the industry and has been a key player in the worldwide growth of Universal Intl. Television. His leadership, experience and commitment over the years led the division to become one of the preeminent international distribution operations,” Universal Intl. TV and Networks Group chairman Blair Westlake said Thursday.

Given the pending takeover of the company’s parent company Seagram by France’s Vivendi, it is unlikely that Hughes will be immediately replaced. For the time being, Jarmus will be assuming Hughes’ duties.

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