VP of Business & Legal Affairs
Company: Entertainment / Broadcasting, New York, NY
Location: New York
Posted on: May 19, 2019
The Business & Legal Affairs department is responsible for all
business and legal matters related to the development, acquisition,
and production, of all content used worldwide by Company’ many
television and digital networks. More specifically, this group
negotiates, reviews and drafts acquisition, commission,
co-production 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 business and
legal issues, insurance, and rights clearances. The Role The Vice
President, Business & Legal Affairs position will be based in our
New York office. The role serves as a primary lead and day-to-day
executive managing the business and legal affairs matters for one
or more of Discovery’s cable television networks. The Vice
President serves as a strategic partner to the networks and is
among those responsible for working with the department’s senior
management to set policy and procedures for the networks’ business
and legal affairs. 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
review 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 Vice-President, Business & Legal
Affairs will also provide advice on content-related legal issues
for a wide variety of production and programming transactions and
will be responsible for handling ongoing deal management
responsibilities throughout the life of an agreement or program.
Responsibilities 1. Manage and supervise one or more business
affairs negotiators and/or contract managers in connection with the
network’s business and negotiations.
2. Advise and support senior executives and other company
management on key business issues and legal matters.
3. Assume independent responsibility for drafting, reviewing and
negotiating agreements of various complexity, such as for
commissions and licenses, in connection with developing, producing,
financing, and/or acquiring television programming for Discovery’s
4. Provide on-going, decisive and accurate business and legal
advice to internal clients Negotiate all business and legal terms
with lawyers, agents or other representatives, including standard
terms and conditions ancillary deal components such as the
licensing and granting of rights.
5. 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 integration
deals, brand influencer deals, licensing deals, event releases, and
overall services agreements with business and legal terms including
exploitation and promotional rights, exclusivity, options, back-end
participation, endorsement services, and all other applicable
talent deal terms customary to the entertainment industry.
6. 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.
7. Advise and support senior network executives and internal
business units on legal issues including risk management, general
labor/guild issues (AFTRA, SAG, DGA and WGA), copyright,
defamation, trademark, right of privacy and publicity, music,
advertising and other production-related issues.
8. Review and draft ancillary production-related documents such as
access agreements, format licenses, participant releases and
9. Assume accountability for deals under tight timelines while
acquiring appropriate rights within budgetary parameters.
10. Manage business practices in concert with network
editorial/creative and production management. Requirements *
Minimum of ten (10) 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 lead in the strategy, structure and negotiation of
deals as well as to draft and review agreements once terms are
* Creative, business-friendly approach to problem solving and the
ability to provide high level 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, California or New York
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
* Excellent leadership, supervisory and 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
* Must have the legal right to work in the United States
Keywords: Entertainment / Broadcasting, New York, NY, New York , VP of Business & Legal Affairs, Executive , New York, New York
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