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Senior Counsel, Business Affairs, PBS

This position is for the Business Affairs team in the Office of the Chief Legal Officer (“OCLO”) supporting the General Audience and Kids Programming groups of the Public Broadcasting Service (“PBS”). The Business Affairs team is responsible for legal matters relating to the acquisition of general audience and children’s content, and for providing advice on a wide array of business and legal issues such as deal structure and rights clearances.

The Sr. Counsel, Business Affairs must be a customer service focused team player who communicates clearly and proactively, seeks achievable solutions to issues, and works with the General Audience and Kids Programming groups to structure, negotiate and draft content acquisition and other content-related agreements that are consistent with PBS policies and business objectives.

Key responsibilities will include, but are not limited to:

  • Negotiate with producers, opposing counsel, and agents for various distribution rights to television programs/series and digital content.
  • Draft production and license agreements.
  • Work collaboratively with the General Audience and Kids Programming groups and negotiate contracts within agreed upon parameters.
  • Work with other Business Affairs team members to ensure proper contract administration.
  • Review and provide internal advice related to program agreements in the PBS library.
  • Advise OCLO Management and Programming executives on legal and business affairs issues.
  • Assist in the development of documents and procedures that further PBS’s business objectives.
  • Provide regular status updates on negotiations and contracts.
  • Supervise the work product of outside counsel and junior attorneys and/or paralegals working on production, distribution, acquisition, development and related agreements
  • As assigned, provide legal services for other content matters and perform other related duties.
  • Develop and maintain successful relationships with clients, member stations and producers.
  • Remain current with the latest industry trends and developments, including deal structures.

Requirements for success:

  • 5-7+ years’ experience in the television/entertainment industry negotiating, drafting, and administering production and distribution, co-production, and license agreements.
  • Extensive knowledge of entertainment, intellectual property and contract law.
  • Familiarity with entertainment guild agreements and their impact on the exploitation of television, home entertainment and digital applications.
  • Knowledge of technological advances in the distribution of programming content (e.g. distribution via the Internet, wireless devices, OTT, FAST channels, video-on-demand (VOD), downloading, streaming, podcasts, mobile apps, voice skills, etc.).  
  • Knowledge of issues relating to international content acquisition, including tax credits and subsidies; and back-end revenue sharing arrangements.
  • Ability to juggle a variety of tasks and multiple projects and to adjust priorities on short notice; ability to meet production and/or transmission deadlines.
  • Ability to grasp complex grant and foundation guidelines.
  • J.D. degree from an accredited law school.
  • A willingness to participate in Continuing Legal Education and other coursework to keep current with trends in the relevant legal fields.
  • Strong computer skills particularly in MS Office Suite (Word, Excel, PowerPoint and Outlook); familiarity with legal word processing (e.g., redlining and tracking changes in agreements).
  • Licensed to practice law and eligible for admission by the Virginia State Bar as a Virginia Corporate Counsel (or currently an active member of the Virginia State Bar).
  • Strong verbal communication and interpersonal skills to lead meetings and to contribute to deal strategy, to negotiate and interact with producers and outside attorneys, and to develop and maintain excellent client relations.
  • Solution and results-oriented mindset with very strong writing/drafting skills in order to capture difficult and complex rights/concepts and the ability to move deals forward to successful and timely conclusions. Excellent attention to detail.
  • A willingness to train peers and subordinates and an approach that favors sharing information openly and proactively.
  • Ability to work effectively under pressure and both independently and within a team.
  • Ability to work with management team in identifying deal structures that best meet current PBS goals, objectives, and strategies.
  • Ability to identify and assess financial, legal and other risk factors relating to projects under PBS consideration and advise internal management team on such risks.
  • Excellent problem solving skill, integrity and personal judgment.
  • Must have received or be willing to receive the COVID-19 vaccination by date of hire to be considered. Proof of vaccination required.

For more information and to apply, click here (and scroll to “Office of the Chief Legal Officer”)