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The Walt Disney Company

Senior Manager, Business Affairs

Job Summary:

The Senior Manager, Business Affairs will be an integral team member of the Disney Parks, Experiences and Products (DPEP) Business Affairs organization. This role will have day-to-day responsibilities for structuring, negotiating, managing and advising on deals for the development, production and distribution of live action and animated short form content for new media distribution in addition to assisting with the negotiation of deals for The Muppets Studio and Disney Publishing Worldwide. This person is expected to work in a highly collaborative fashion with other Business Affairs and Legal Affairs members of The Walt Disney Company (TWDC) and members of DPEP’s creative, marketing, production, legal, finance, and franchise management groups.

Responsibilities:

  • Support the day-to-day business affairs function that reviews property rights and third-party (including above-the-line talent) rights, obligations and approvals for the merchandising of DPEP’s film franchise with legal and provides business direction to all divisions of DPEP globally.
  • Establish and enforce processes, policies and best practice to ensure the strategic, legal and financial guidelines in connection with rights acquisitions, labor (e.g., SAG-AFTRA, DGA, WGA) and talent negotiations are followed.
  • Partner with DPEP Legal, DPEP Controllership and DPEP Contract Administration to guide those organizations on the proper set up of property codes that directly impact third party participation payments.
  • Structure and negotiate production agreements (e.g., producer, writer, talent agreements, production services, format licenses, etc.) and advise and consult with clients regarding production-related business affairs matters including any guild and union issues.
  • Review and advise on creative content for DPEP productions to ensure compliance with TWDC precedent, contract and guild requirements.
  • Negotiate and review talent and production deals for The Muppets Studio.
  • Negotiate and review author and option/purchase deals for the publishing business. Review TV commercials produced by publishing licensees for talent, music and third party content issues.
  • Establish and maintain client relationships with regular, effective and timely communications concerning deal negotiation and business strategy.
  • Collaborate with Legal Affairs to ensure long-form agreements are signed on a timely basis.
  • Analyze and provide executive summaries of the merchandise related aspects of key rights acquisitions, talent agreements and distribution arrangements.
  • Serve as a contact for all other divisions of TWDC (particularly the Walt Disney Studios, Twentieth Century, Lucasfilm, Pixar, Disney Channel, Disney Interactive, Disney Music Group, Theme Parks, etc.) for issues related to merchandising and licensing.
  • Follow “best practices” and contribute toward improving deal parameters, deal memo templates, departmental process and procedures as well as contribute to creative problem solving on deals and projects.

Basic Qualifications:

  • 5 years or more of applicable television, film or new media business affairs or legal affairs experience.
  • Solid expertise with respect to guild and union agreements, contracts and intellectual property law
  • Exceptional negotiating skills, strong drafting abilities, first class communication skills (written and verbal) and creative problem-solving abilities.
  • Ability to work independently
  • Exceptional organizational, prioritization and time management skills with the ability to execute against multiple, high-priority projects in a fast-paced environment with a keen attention to detail.
  • Strong interpersonal skills, financial analytical skills and verbal and writing skills (discussion, analysis, succinctly summarizing key issues

Required Education

  • Must have a four year degree and a J.D.

Preferred Education

  • California Bar Membership preferred.

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