Discovery Communications
3.5 of 5 222 reviews
corporate.discovery.com Silver Spring, MD 1000 to 5000 Employees

Discovery Communications Reviews

Updated Feb 1, 2014
All Employees Current Employees Only

3.5 222 reviews

                             

79% Approve of the CEO

Discovery Communications President and CEO David M. Zaslav

David M. Zaslav

(140 ratings)

72% of employees recommend this company to a friend
17 Employee Reviews Back to all reviews
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3 people found this helpful  

This review is of Discovery Education, a part of Discovery

Anonymous Employee (Former Employee)

I worked at Discovery Communications full-time for more than a year

Pros- part of an exciting parent company
- potential to change education, although this senior management team is not executing on that

Cons- No strategic plan or vision by senior management. They struggle to understand the basics in the disruption in education. This company has a great opportunity to change education but the senior management team is not capable of capitalizing on it.
- Because their is not strategic plan, they are constantly altering course and what they want to do and be
- There is no career path or opportunity at Discovery Education; this business lives on the cronyism of senior management and is not performance based - they hire their friends, promote those friends, and everyone else is expendable; if you are one of their long-time friends then this place is a great place to work. If you aren't, you will have no future at this company

Advice to Senior ManagementBring in fresh senior executive blood, move to a meritocracy system in hiring and promotions, and develop a strategic plan that employees can execute on

No, I would not recommend this company to a friend – I'm not optimistic about the outlook for this company

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Looks Great From the Outside, but Miserable on the Inside

Anonymous Employee (Current Employee)
Silver Spring, MD

I have been working at Discovery Communications full-time

ProsGood benefits, doctor's office inside the building.

ConsDiscovery looks like a great place to work from the outside, but once you're in it's quite evident that it's a grind and bureaucracy runs rampant. Expect to be on call 24/7. Like meetings? Then you'll love Discovery, as that's all everyone does all day. Work/life balance depends on which department you're in, as some enjoy working from home and summer Fridays while others don't. I've never worked for a company where morale was so low and so many people were miserable.

Advice to Senior ManagementTrim the fat from the many layers of management that exists, practice what you preach when it comes to work/life balance, and cut back on meetings so employees can actually accomplish something in the confines of the regular work week.

No, I would not recommend this company to a friend – I'm not optimistic about the outlook for this company

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Don't Work for the Discovery Education Division

Anonymous Employee (Current Employee)
Silver Spring, MD

I have been working at Discovery Communications full-time

ProsSome very smart and talented people. Globally recognized brand. Diverse portfolio content. Cutting edge of the digital transformation in education.

ConsJust to be crystal clear and concise, here are my cons as a top, award winning performer at Discovery Education.

There is no work/life balance. You will not move up no matter how well you perform. Your compensation will be far less than any other company. You will be promised everything and they will not deliver on any promise. Even if you apply for a position in the company, they will not consider you. They won't even return an email or phone call. HR is non-existent. They refuse to speak with you, return a call or email. They do a reorg every single year and it's seen as a great thing by those at the top because they've lost all touch with the actual workers.

Very poor organizational structure that is extremely top heavy with VPs. The VPs that are brought on-board, 99% of the time come from outside the company, hired to secure a contract with a particular school district or a family friend of the senior leadership. A common con at Discovery is cronyism and it's not even disguised on the education side. There is no career path. They are very blatant about this fact, almost prideful. Their form of career path is, do something great and great things happen. Then they hire a family friend or someone from the outside. Merit has no place on the education side. The extremely few that get promoted are not promoted based on performance. In fact, they may be one of the poorest performers, yet advance because of cronyism. Those that actually perform, close multi-millions in deals, are consistently overlooked and under-appreciated. Discovery Education has one of the worst compensation packages in the industry, yet they expect you to work more days and spend more time on the road then any industry. You will be expected to spend at a bare minimum 100 days on the road. Some spend 150+.

Advice to Senior ManagementYou have some talented people, but they will leave unless you lessen the work load. I had high hopes for this company, but I can no longer justify the extreme travel for little pay and zero recognition. So, I'm taking your advice to "Make your own career path". I'm leaving.

No, I would not recommend this company to a friend – I'm optimistic about the outlook for this company

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In some ways, the worst position I've ever held

Anonymous Employee (Former Employee)

I worked at Discovery Communications full-time for more than 3 years

ProsI was worried every day that someone might find me promotable.

ConsPrimadonna attitudes abound at this, "better than you," employer. Don't bother sharing fresh ideas or think outside the box, you are sure to be shunned for it. It's everyone for himself here, although they pride themselves on their non-existant teamwork. Don't expect anyone to," have your back." You're on your own...

Advice to Senior ManagementAs if...

No, I would not recommend this company to a friend – I'm not optimistic about the outlook for this company

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Suck up or move on

Project Manager (Current Employee)
Chicago, IL

I have been working at Discovery Communications full-time for more than a year

ProsGreat benefits and facilities. which you can get at most decent companies.

ConsI work for their education sector, and the only way to really move up is if you kiss some serious butt and are liked outside of work by upper management. People are in high positions with zero ability to do their job and rely on others to do it for them, but because they are friends with upper management they get promoted and taken care of.

Advice to Senior ManagementPromote from within where people understand your business, dont hire from outside where people have no experience in the industry and make more clean up work for others because they cant do their job right the first time.

No, I would not recommend this company to a friend

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Miserable experience with declining management

Producer (Current Employee)
Silver Spring, MD

I have been working at Discovery Communications full-time for more than 5 years

ProsShows are good every now and then, but its been more misses than hits due to short term planning and profit driven decision making.

ConsSenior management is all about money and inept when it comes to media production. Constant shifts in decision making like what's occurring with OWN. Management is clueless about non-fiction media.

Advice to Senior ManagementBoard of Directors may be better off replacing Zaslav and his minions. This guy came from NBC... now a last place network.

No, I would not recommend this company to a friend

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Not a place to grow

Associate Producer (Former Employee)
Miami, FL

I worked at Discovery Communications

Pros- good content
- global company
- well known

Cons- Lack of communication
- Irrespectful treatment from senior management
- Lack of interest of senior manager in potential of team/employees and their work

Advice to Senior ManagementCommunicate Communicate Commnunicate and respect.

No, I would not recommend this company to a friend

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Discovery Communications was once great before Zaslav.

Producer (Former Employee)
Silver Spring, MD

I worked at Discovery Communications

ProsBrand recognition is top here. Most people in the US and many around the world know the name and shows.

ConsSince the new CEO arrived, the company has been a miserable place to work. Heads of departments and networks have come and go with no attention to the long term. While senior management makes tons of $$$, lower level employees of many years get the short end of the stick. As Zaslav (a former NBC employee) gets millions by redeeming his options, the company pursues many careless layoffs.

Advice to Senior ManagementManagement is too timid to change under the arrogant senior management. The shareholders must change the company and bring the company back to a better place.

No, I would not recommend this company to a friend

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I wouldn't advise any of my friends to work there.

Project Coordinator (Current Employee)
Silver Spring, MD

I have been working at Discovery Communications

ProsThe benefits including the 401K there are good.

ConsCronyism there is horrendous and blatant. Working your butt off under the ever present cloud threatening layoff is worse than not working at all. No room for advancement whatsoever unless you are under someone's umbrella and they too maybe shafted at any given time.

Advice to Senior Managementstop giving so much money to the ceo while cutting people. that 19 million dollars that was written about in the washington post two years ago could have paid the people he laid off that year. stop allowing cronyism to flourish.

No, I would not recommend this company to a friend

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Discovery - low brow entertainment provided by inept management.

Associate Producer (Former Employee)
Miami, FL

I worked at Discovery Communications

ProsLooks good on a resume and helps open doors elsewhere, at far better managed companies. Great for starting conversations...."you work for Discovery Channel...oh, I love that channel...blah, blah, blah....". Looks very cool on the surface.

ConsThe fact that the only good things I can say about Discovery are the things I said in "What are the best reasons to work for..." Otherwise, Discovery is atrociously bad at hiring upper management. Every announcement about increased profits is invariably be followed by lay-offs. If you have a true and sincere passion for documentary and educational television, then Discovery is not the place, as it provides neither. I can go on and on and on....

Advice to Senior ManagementWake up to the fact that your employees are valuable and are what make the company run. Try taking a chance on true, pioneering programming, instead just looking for the next big hit and copying it.

No, I would not recommend this company to a friend

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Discovery Communications – Why Work for Us?

Discovery Communications (Nasdaq: DISCA, DISCB, DISCK) is the world's #1 nonfiction media company reaching more than two billion cumulative subscribers in over 220 countries and territories. Discovery is dedicated to… Full Overview

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