Counsel, Business & Legal Affairs

New York, NY
Full Time
Job #: 2019-11409 Exp.: 3 - 5 Years
Overview and Responsibilities
In this attorney-level role you will provide day-to-day legal and business affairs services for BET Networks and Viacom Media Networks (VMN) content, with a focus on original, scripted and unscripted series development, programming, production and talent across various lines of business.

Working closely with the networks’ Programming and Production Management teams as well as many other departments (including Talent, Publicity, Music & Media Licensing, Labor & Employment, Risk Management, Pre-Broadcast Content Review, Intellectual Property & Litigation, Marketing, Digital, Corporate Communications, Ad Sales, and Accounting/Finance) you will directly handle a heavy volume of development, production and talent-related matters relating to both in-house and third-party productions.

Primary duties will include:
  • Structuring, drafting and negotiating development and production agreements (e.g., rights acquisition, producer, writer, production services, and talent agreements, venue and location releases, etc.);
  • Performing and/or supervising day-to-day legal production work for presentations, pilots, specials and series;
  • Counseling in-house client groups (including Programming, Production, Digital and Marketing Teams) on a variety of legal issues, deal-making strategies, and corporate policies that may arise in connection with production and development and to ensure compliance with Viacom Media Networks and BET Networks policies and procedures;
  • Managing all types of production-related legal matters (including intellectual property, union and guild issues, contracts, music, regulatory and employment law issues);
  • Reviewing and approving legal contracts for execution by management;
  • Overseeing contract administration and compliance;
  • Researching relevant legal issues;
  • Providing risk assessments for production-related matters;
  • Advising and communicating with various other departments within VMN and BET Networks regarding exploitation of original programming across all media platforms;
  • Performing day-to-day legal work for television programs including vetting creative summaries/pitches for legal and business risk, monitoring and providing on and off set advice to third-party production companies, producers, and creative executives on development- and production-related matters and legal analysis; and
  • Performing other day-to-day legal and business affairs-related tasks as needed and assigned by the Vice President, Business and Legal Affairs and/or Senior Vice President, Business and Legal Affairs.

Basic Qualifications
  • Member of the New York Bar (or eligible for Registered In-House Counsel designation).
  • 3-5 years of relevant experience (including law firm experience and/or experience in a business and/or legal affairs department at a major studio or network).
  • Substantive working knowledge of television industry agreements, contract law and intellectual property rights (as applicable to the entertainment industry)
  • Excellent negotiating, drafting, organizational, and computer skills
  • Excellent communication (written and verbal) skills and the ability to proactively collaborate with client group members; provide guidance, and make strategic recommendations in deal-making.

Additional Qualifications
  • Knowledgeable in entertainment industry customs and practices with demonstrated ability to effectively negotiate and interact with agents, managers and outside attorneys.
  • Able to work both independently and in teams, to effectively multi-task under pressure, and manage a varied, high-volume workload efficiently and smoothly.
  • Demonstrated capability for legal research, analysis and reasoning
  • Ability to devise creative solutions that allow executives to execute their creative vision while minimizing overall legal and business risk
  • Attention to detail and the ability to manage a high-volume workload efficiently and smoothly
  • A cooperative, team-oriented approach
  • Our Business & Legal Affairs department works as a team in a highly collaborative manner. Successful new team members will also have a cooperative, positive, team-oriented spirit.

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