Comcast Corp. has made an offer to renew the contract of longtime Universal Studios chief Ron Meyer -- a potential vote of confidence that could quell speculation in Hollywood that his days in the job are numbered under the cable giant's new ownership.
But the two sides have yet to reach an agreement. A key sticking point in the negotiations is how long Meyer's contract will be extended beyond its current expiration in 2012. Comcast was offering a shorter extension than the executive would like, according to a person familiar with the matter who requested anonymity because of the confidentiality of the talks.
The negotiations indicate that Steve Burke, who became chief executive of Universal's parent company NBCUniversal when Comcast bought the media giant in January, is comfortable working with Meyer and his team at Universal for at least some time beyond next year, but appears not yet ready to commit for a longer term.
A spokesman for NBC Universal declined to comment, as did a spokeswoman for Universal Studios.
Meyer, 66, a former talent agent who co-founded the powerhouse Creative Artists Agency, has been president and chief operating officer of Universal's movie and theme parks businesses for 16 years. During that time he has had nine different bosses at Universal, which has been bought and sold by several different corporate parents including Seagram, Vivendi and General Electric.