Comcast’s NBCUniversal division has ousted top exec Paul Telegdy amid a misconduct investigation that was spurred by an explosive report by The Hollywood Reporter last week.
Telegdy, the chairman of NBC Entertainment who has overseen hit shows like “America’s Got Talent” and “The Voice,” had been earmarked to spearhead one of NBCUniversal’s new business units as Chief Executive Jeff Shell consolidates staff of various broadcast, cable and streaming platforms.
But last Friday’s report, which accused the exec of “presiding over a toxic environment,” put the brakes on that. The report cites over 30 current and former NBC employees, claiming that the Telegdy “mocked gay executives,” used “homophobic and misogynistic slurs” and made “sexual comments about the physical appearance of network talent.”
Even Sharon Osbourne, a former “America’s Got Talent” judge, spoke out against the exec in the report, alleging he threatened her in 2012.
Osbourne claimed that she once told Telegdy that her famous family was thinking about holding a press conference to protest the NBC’s decision to drop her son, Jack, from the show, “Stars Earn Stripes,” after he revealed he has multiple sclerosis.
“He said, ‘Go f–k yourself,’” Osbourne told THR of Telegdy, adding that he told her, “’If you call the press you’ll never work in this town, you f–king witch.’” She said she quit over the dispute. A rep for Telegdy denied Osbourne’s account to THR.
The exec also has been embroiled in a public battle with former “America’s Got Talent” judge Gabrielle Union, who accused him of threatening her agent while Union was in the midst of a discrimination suit against the network. Union filed a harassment complaint that accused the network of being “a snake pit of racial offenses,” and claimed she was axed from the show when she complained. Telegdy and NBC have denied the accusations of any threats, and NBC has said an outside investigation did not support her claims.
As part of Thursday’s reshuffle, NBC also elevated Frances Berwick, who currently oversees the Bravo, E! and Oxygen cable networks. A 24-year NBCU vet, who has helped develop “Top Chef,” “Project Runway” and “The Real Housewives” franchise, Berwick will head business operations and deal-making for content across all the company’s entertainment operations. Her marching orders include “mapping out the programming strategy and content spend across the TV entertainment brands,” the company said.
On Tuesday morning, eyewitnesses told The Post that laid off NBC staffers were being ushered from the company’s 30 Rock headquarters in droves, to black SUVs that were waiting out front to take them home.
Insiders told The Post that the reorganization is expected to result in thousands of job cuts, impacting under 10 percent of its 35,000 full time employee workforce.
NBCU circulated a statement Thursday on the reorganization, including a one-line confirmation of Telegdy’s departure.
A rep from NBCU declined to provide more details. Telegdy did not respond to requests seeking comment.
Ian Mohr and Sara Nathan contributed reporting