Overview

Duties:

This position, reporting to the EVP, Content Negotiations & Strategy, Associate General Counsel, manages the Legal and Business Affairs team within the Turner Content Distribution division of Turner. The Legal and Business Affairs team is responsible for drafting, negotiating and administering Turner’s agreements for the distribution of its domestic networks and related on-demand content in the United States, Puerto Rico, the U.S. Virgin Islands and Canada. This individual plays a key role, in collaboration with the EVP, TCD’s Account Management, Business Development, Strategic Planning, and Financial Services teams in developing strategies to renew affiliation agreements and to meet TCD’s financial and distribution commitments—more than $5B in annual revenue. This position is also responsible for ensuring that the Company complies with its contractual obligations under its distribution agreements.

You will be responsible for:

Drafting and negotiating contracts and devising renewal strategies-

This individual is the person chiefly responsible for drafting all major agreements for the distribution of the Company’s major content deals, including all linear distribution, VOD, and TV Everywhere agreements. This position is also responsible for working closely with other lawyers and business leaders throughout the company to negotiate and devise strategies for the monetization of content over new media platforms and pursuant to new business models, while protecting existing revenue streams. The SVP and Assistant General Counsel acts as the primary legal counsel in connection with these negotiations, serving as both a legal and business advisor throughout the negotiation process, and he/she is expected to develop key working relationships with colleagues throughout Turner (including executives throughout the Company), as well as with the parties with whom he/she negotiates.

Strategic Legal and Business Advice-

This position plays a critical role in providing strategic legal and business advice to the TCD executive team and other business leaders throughout the company to ensure that contemplated business objectives do not run afoul of either contractual obligations or other business sensitivities. In this “hybrid” legal/business role, this individual is routinely called upon to furnish key strategic business advice to the TCD executive team. This position also works closely with the TCD’s Account Management and Strategic Planning teams to develop strategies for the renewal of affiliation agreements for the Turner networks. This individual is expected to play a key leadership role in the development of business and legal strategies that anticipate future industry changes in technology and business models, providing flexibility for Turner to be at the forefront of innovation, while at the same time protecting its core revenue streams. A comprehensive understanding of TCD’s existing contractual provisions, and the impact of these provisions on existing and proposed business plans of TCD and the networks is expected in this position. Additional responsibilities include providing legal advice and guidance to the Marketing, Account Management and Business Development teams in support of their efforts to add value and grow distribution of the networks, and coordination with other lawyers handling content deals (both outbound and inbound) to ensure that these deals are appropriately aligned with the legal and business objectives of TCD. Serving as a liaison to Time Warner’s regulatory and policy group, this individual must have a basic working understanding of the regulatory environment in which TCD operates.

Contract Compliance-

This individual manages the work of his/her team to create boilerplate agreements; implements procedures for archiving and filing executed agreements; and develops policies and procedures for administering affiliation and other licensing agreements. This position is also responsible for overseeing the creation of policies and procedures to ensure that TCD complies with its contractual obligations (e.g., policies and triggers for ensuring that appropriate and timely notices are provided to contracting parties) and to make certain that TCD has mechanisms to track its licensees’ compliance with their contractual obligations. Of particular importance, this individual is responsible for ensuring that TCD complies with its contractual obligations under its most favored nation provisions, including presenting rationale for certain decisions to Turner’s General Counsel. This position ensures that an accurate database of non-standard contractual provisions exists so that information is easily obtained, and research materials are readily available during negotiations.

Management of the Legal and Business Affairs team (LB&A) –

Responsibilities include:

implementing goals and priorities for LB&A, ensuring that these goals are in-line with TCD’s divisional goals, direct report responsibility for four lawyers-one assistant general counsel, two senior counsels and one counsel within LB&A, coordinating with other lawyers from the Turner Legal Department where appropriate (a component of the position that has taken on increasing significance), making hiring decisions, reviewing all department employee performance plans and year end evaluations, developing and retaining employees and identifying necessary resources to meet business needs. This position is also responsible for working with, and coordinating use of, outside counsel in their representation of TCD in administrative proceedings and litigation. On deals where this individual is not serving as the lead attorney, this person will serve as the point of escalation in guiding his/her team as they draft and negotiate deals in conjunction with other TCD team members.

Qualifications:

  • 10 plus years of law practice;
  • including at least 5 years of private practice;
  • significant experience and expertise in working with and negotiating content and /or technology license agreements, or other complex transactions, in a high pressure, high stakes and rapidly changing environment;
  • intellectual property foundation; demonstrated ability to work well under pressure and sustain motivation of self and staff through long negotiation cycles;
  • management experience;
  • consensus building in order to achieve business results (ability to thrive in a diverse team environment);
  • a keen ability to serve in both a legal and business role;
  • creative, strategic thinker;
  • assertive, with the confidence and maturity to advise, challenge and influence senior executives;
  • political astuteness;
  • ability to build constructive partnerships and earn trust of internal and external clients.

Preferred:

  • Prior work in the media industry
  • Prior experience negotiating content distribution and/or acquisition agreements
  • Intellectual Property Experience
  • FCC regulatory experience

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