Director – Business & Legal Affairs

Our Team
The Business & Legal Affairs department is responsible for all 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.

The Role
The Director, Business & Legal Affairs position will be based in the New York, NY office and will be responsible for independently handling deal negotiations and the drafting and review of a variety of agreements for the development, production and distribution of documentary and non-scripted reality television programming, including the agreements for talent across Discovery’s portfolio of networks. The Director will be responsible for handling ongoing deal management responsibilities throughout the life of a program.


The Director will also provide advice on content-related legal issues (e.g., defamation, right of privacy and publicity, copyright, etc.) for Discovery’s programs, with an emphasis on the legal issues related to true crime programming.


1. Assume independent responsibility for deal negotiations and preparation of contracts for developing, producing, financing, and/or acquiring television programming for Discovery’s networks.
2. Negotiate and draft all business and legal terms with producer’s lawyers and/or agents for development, commission, co-production, acquisition, and other related agreements, including standard terms and conditions, back-end participation and ancillary deal components such as the licensing and granting of rights.
3. Negotiate and draft all terms of a variety of talent deals and 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.
4. Advise and support senior network executives and internal business units on legal issues including copyright, defamation, trademark, right of privacy and publicity, music, advertising and other production-related issues, as well as liaise with counsel for production companies regarding legal issues related to programs.
5. Review and draft ancillary production-related documents such as access agreements, format licenses, participant releases, and consultant agreements.
6. Assume accountability for deals under tight timelines while acquiring appropriate rights within budgetary parameters.
7. Manage business practices in concert with network editorial/creative and production management.