This marks the first major executive move at NBC since it was announced that George Cheeks and Paul Telegdy would become co-chairmen of the network, succeeding Bob Greenblatt. Telegdy was previously the president of the Alternative and Reality Group.
“In just two short years, Meredith has built a studio from the ground up and expanded her already indelible impact on NBCUniversal via the genre-defining alternative content she has personally overseen,” said Cheeks and Telegdy said. “There is no one better suited to take the baton and run with this role. Meredith will continue to set the industry standard for world-class unscripted programming both domestically and abroad.”
In her new post, Ahr will oversee all aspects of unscripted programming at the network, Universal Television Alternative Studio, and first-run syndication, which includes “Access Hollywood” and the recently announced daytime series, “The Kelly Clarkson Show.” This role, which directly reports to Cheeks and Telegdy, encompasses development, production, business affairs, sales strategy, casting, and talent development for the group.
With oversight of both the studio and network, Ahr will have greater purview over the launch and ongoing strategy for Universal Television Alternative Studio’s projects for NBC in 2019, including “The Titan Games” with Dwayne Johnson and the songwriting competition format “Songland.” She will also lead the team that oversees some of the network’s biggest hits, including “America’s Got Talent,” “Ellen’s Game of Games,” “American Ninja Warrior” and “The Voice.”
“There has never been a better time to create content that celebrates and reflects the unpredictable stories of real people,” said Ahr. “The opportunity to nurture the best and most innovative formats and ideas, regardless of studio, network, platform or daypart – all around the globe – is a dream job that I’m energized to share with the brilliant producers, talent and executives who partner with us.”
Ahr became president of Universal Television Alternative Studio in 2016 to launch and build the studio. Under her leadership, it has produced a number of formats, including “World of Dance,” “The Wall,” “Hollywood Game Night,” and “Making It.” The studio has also produced “In Search Of” with Zachary Quinto for History, as well as other projects for broadcast, cable, first-run syndication and digital platforms.
Ahr’s career at NBC began in 2001 when she joined the network as a page in New York. She made her way to Los Angeles in 2004 via the NBC Entertainment Associates Program, where she was placed in the Alternative Programming division. Less than two years later, Ahr developed the first edition of “America’s Got Talent” with Simon Cowell.
Prior to her role at Universal Television Alternative Studio, Ahr served as executive vice president of Alternative Programming for NBC, where she spearheaded a programming slate of some of the network’s biggest hits, including “The Voice” and “America’s Got Talent,” “American Ninja Warrior,” “Running Wild With Bear Grylls,” “Little Big Shots,” “The Celebrity Apprentice,” “The Biggest Loser,” “Last Comic Standing” and “Who Do You Think You Are?”