• Counsel, Business and Legal Affairs, BET

    Location : CityStateForPosting Hollywood, CA
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  • Overview and Responsibilities


    This is an Attorney-level position where candidate would provide day-to-day business and legal affairs services for BET Networks and Viacom Media Networks content, with a focus on original, unscripted series development and production across various lines of business.  This position will be located in Los Angeles, CA.  This person will handle a heavy volume of development, production and talent-related matters relating to both in-house and third-party productions.  The Viacom Media Networks and BET Networks Business and Legal Affairs team handles development and production work for both scripted and unscripted programming and works 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, Corporate Communications, Ad Sales, and Accounting/Finance).




    • 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 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/guild, 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 Viacom Media Networks and BET Networks regarding exploitation of original programming across all media platforms;
    • Performing day-to-day legal work for television programs, which shall include: vetting creative summaries/pitches for legal and business risk; overseeing 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

    • Minimum of 3 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).  
    • Must be member of the California Bar (or eligible for Registered In-House Counsel designation). 
    • Should be well-versed in entertainment industry customs and practices and possess demonstrated ability to effectively negotiate and interact with agents, managers and outside attorneys. 
    • Ability to work independently, multi-task under pressure, and manage a varied, high-volume workload efficiently and smoothly. 
    • The Business & Legal Affairs department works as a team in a highly collaborative manner.  The ideal candidate will have a cooperative, positive, team-oriented spirit

    Additional Qualifications

    • Substantive working knowledge of television industry agreements, contract law and intellectual property rights (as applicable to the entertainment industry)
    • Demonstrated capability for legal research, analysis and reasoning
    • Excellent negotiating, drafting, organizational, and computer skills
    • Excellent communication (written and verbal) skills and the ability to proactively interface with client group members; provide guidance, and make strategic recommendations in deal-making.
    • 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


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