Director, Business & Legal Affairs
Discovery CommunicationsKnoxville, TN
Full Time Job
The Director, Business & Legal Affairs position will be based in our Knoxville, Tennessee office and will be responsible for various business and legal affairs matters for one or more of Discovery’s cable television networks. The role requires the ability to independently negotiate complex deals and to determine best practices for negotiations, deal structures, and enforcement of agreements, among other issues. Additional responsibilities include the drafting and/or review of a variety of agreements for the development, production, and acquisition of non-scripted reality television programming, including agreements for talent (e.g., hosts, experts, narrators, families, celebrities, etc.). The Director, Business & Legal Affairs will also provide advice on content-related legal issues for a variety of production and programming transactions and will be responsible for handling ongoing deal management responsibilities throughout the life of an agreement or program.
1. Advise and support network executives and other company management on business issues and legal matters.
2. Assume independent responsibility for negotiating and drafting and/or reviewing content agreements of various complexity, such as for commissions and licenses, in connection with developing, producing, financing, and/or acquiring television programming for one or more Discovery networks.
3. Provide on-going, decisive and accurate business and legal advice to internal clients.
4. Negotiate and draft all terms of a variety of talent agreements including, but not limited to, series deals, pilot-to-series deals, test-option deals, holding deals, ad sales talent deals, brand influencer deals, licensing deals, event releases, and overall services agreements.
5. Manage all aspects of the provision of personal services to Discovery throughout the life of the talent deal, including oversight of all business transactions between the talent and the Discovery units that utilize talent’s services.
6. Advise and support internal business units on legal issues including risk management, general labor/guild issues (e.g. AFTRA, SAG, DGA and WGA), copyright, defamation, trademark, right of privacy and publicity, music, advertising and other production-related issues.
7. Review and draft ancillary production-related documents such as access agreements, format licenses, participant releases and consultant agreements.
8. Assume accountability for deals under tight timelines while acquiring appropriate rights within budgetary parameters.
9. Manage business practices in concert with network editorial/creative and production management.
* Three (3) to eight (8) years of progressive experience, with increasing levels of responsibility, negotiating transactions in the entertainment field, including in-depth knowledge of television production, talent and acquisition transactions.
* The ability to advise in the strategy, structure and negotiation of deals as well as to draft and review agreements once terms are negotiated.
* Creative, business-friendly approach to problem solving and the ability to provide business and legal support in a fast-paced environment are vital.
* Experience working in-house in the business affairs and/or legal department of an entertainment company, preferably a cable or broadcast television network, studio, or commensurate transactional experience in the entertainment division of a law firm.
* Demonstrated independent deal negotiation experience.
* Strong academic credentials from an ABA-accredited law school and current Bar admission required (Tennessee, New York or California Bar membership preferred).
* Knowledge of television programming and talent agreements and/or cable industry required.
* Knowledge of contract, privacy/publicity, and copyright laws.
* Excellent organizational and interpersonal skills, including clear and effective written and verbal communication skills.
* Relationships with entertainment attorneys, agents, and/or managers a plus.
* Applicants must be industrious and self-motivated with demonstrated ability to take initiative, make firm decisions, manage projects, and offer a high level of customer service in a fast-paced environment.
* Excellent people skills, and ability to develop and maintain productive working relationships with internal and external partners
* Excellent business and legal judgment.
* Willingness to tackle matters outside of areas of expertise.
* Experience with Microsoft Word, Excel and other software applications required.
* Must have the legal right to work in the United States
Knoxville, Tennessee, KX, TN
The Business & Legal Affairs department is responsible for all business and legal matters related to the development, acquisition, production, distribution and pre-broadcast review of all content used worldwide by Discovery’s television and digital networks. More specifically, this group negotiates and drafts commission, co-production, acquisition, and talent agreements; reviews scripts and rough cuts of programs prior to broadcast in order to minimize legal exposure; analyzes media rights associated with all programming agreements and responds to usage requests made by the company’s many lines of businesses; and provides advice and counsel on a wide array of network matters such as production- and talent-related legal issues, insurance, and rights clearances.