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Senior Vice President, Business and Legal Affairs

Location: West Hollywood, CA
Date Posted: 11-15-2018
OWN is the first and only network named for, and inspired by, a single iconic leader. Oprah Winfrey's heart and creative instincts inform the brand - and the  magnetism of the channel. Winfrey provides leadership in programming and attracts superstar talent to join her in primetime, building a global community of like-minded viewers and leading that community to connect on social media and beyond. OWN is a singular destination on cable. Depth with edge. Heart. Star power. Connection. And endless possibilities. OWN is a joint venture between Harpo, Inc. and Discovery Communications. The network debuted on January 1, 2011 and is available in 85 million homes. The venture also includes the award-winning digital platform Oprah.com.

Position Overview: 

The Senior Vice President serves as the head of OWN Business and Legal Affairs department and closely supports the GM and all executives at the channel.  This position will provide counsel on all business and legal affairs matters related to content and participate in key business and legal negotiations for OWN. The Senior Vice President will serve as a key point of contact for network management, executives and joint venture partners and will consult and advise on talent, production, licensing deals for scripted programming, rights management, international sales, standards & practices, participations, union administrations and unscripted programming.  Additionally, this position will guide third party production companies and creative partners on OWN production legal protocols for scripted and unscripted programming.  The Senior Vice President reports to the General Manager of OWN.

Key Responsibilities:
  • Extend offers, negotiate, and draft all terms for complex, multi-component deals including, but not limited to marketing partnerships, distribution agreements, content acquisitions, scripted and unscripted series deals, pilot-to-series deals, studio network license agreements, talent deals, production deals and acquisitions.
  • Negotiate and draft sophisticated business term sheets and agreements related to marketing, digital, international distribution and rights agreements.
  • Oversee insurance matters, including renewals, piracy prevention, and employee training bank loan financing for scripted series.
  • Supervise work product of paralegals responsible for negotiating and tracking business affairs deal terms, rights trackers, status charts, and other duties related to rights management.
  • Provide strategic advice to the GM and senior management on important business affairs and business development initiatives. 
  • Maintain awareness of applicable regulatory issues and work with outside counsel to provide regular updates on such issues.
  • Manage paralegals and attorneys on day-to-day risk assessment, production legal and rights issues.
  • Liaison with both corporate parents (Harpo Inc. and Discovery, Inc.) on all joint venture, employment and litigation matters.

Required Qualifications: 
  • Bachelor's degree and law degree.
  • CA or NY Bar membership.
  • A minimum of 12 years of legal experience and at least 10 years of television production company and/or cable channel business and legal affairs experience.  Corporate law or litigation experience a plus.
  • Excellent written, verbal and presentation skills.
  • A successful track record within the television industry.
  • Substantive digital/interactive experience.
  • Strong critical thinking and analytical skills, with a demonstrated track record of sound business judgment.
  • Superior negotiation skills, with a high level of attention to detail.
  • Established relationships within the entertainment community.
  • Results oriented, extremely proactive and highly responsive.
  • Excellent negotiation skills and business acumen.
  • Extensive hands-on experience with complex contracts.
  • Demonstrated ability to prioritize and offer highly proficient time management.
  • Proven ability to work effectively in a fast-paced, high-volume environment.
  • Ability to effectively manage lawyers and paralegals.
  • Experience with Microsoft Word, Excel, Outlook, and other software applications are desirable.

OWN, LLC is an Equal Opportunity Employer. It is our policy to provide equal employment opportunities to all employees and applicants for employment without regard to race, color, religion, creed, national origin, gender, sexual orientation, age, gender identity, marital status, citizenship, disability, genetic information or veteran status or any other basis prohibited by applicable federal, state or local law.

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