Discovery Communications Reviews

Updated April 5, 2015
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Discovery Communications President and CEO David M. Zaslav
David M. Zaslav
19 Ratings

Pros
  • Good work/life balance programs (in 27 reviews)

  • Large company with great benefits, including telework options (in 27 reviews)

Cons
  • No work-life balance if you are in a position that supports broadcast (in 19 reviews)

  • Some upper management could use some replacement (in 15 reviews)

More Pros and Cons

39 Employee Reviews

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  1. Helpful (7)

    This place is a trap of talent making arbitrary, outdated products.

    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee in Silver Spring, MD
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee in Silver Spring, MD

    I worked at Discovery Communications

    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO
    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

    Pros

    Over compensated and under worked (the ladder of which could also be a con)
    Nice people and cool office environment. A lot of perks but only if you're a full time employee.

    Cons

    The rich keep getting richer. Lots of politics and cliquey. WAYYYY behind in technology and social, media, and digital trends. There is 0 room for career growth as a creative. Lacks mentorship and leadership. I feel as though the company is run by people that are so stuck in their ways that they refuse to invest money in the future of advertising. Television and the way we watch/experience it is changing, why cant they accept it and explore new resources?

    Advice to Management

    Start putting money behind bold, creative campaigns. There is so much talent there and its being wasted on printed posters and banner ads that no one sees. Stop wasting money on art and media that is showcased by the elevators of the executives offices and only hosted on homepages and adapt to the new digital age.


  2. Helpful (4)

    Agree with everything the previous reviewer mentioned.

    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Finance
    Former Employee - Finance

    I worked at Discovery Communications

    Doesn't Recommend
    Positive Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO
    Doesn't Recommend
    Positive Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

    Pros

    Good Benefits, good compensation. you get the chance to meet a lot of creative people. Unfortunately, they eventually move on to other opportunities because Discovery have too many boneheads making critical decisions that negatively impact their employees, ultimately poisoning morale. Collectively speaking of course.

    Cons

    Everything else. Upper management is a complete joke. Coincidence that the founder recently left the company to start his next venture? Hendricks probably grew tired of the stench and stagnation. At least in my experience, VERY under appreciated and over worked. Discovery will continue to consume smaller networks and companies to gain more power and revenue and eventually destroy those smaller companies and their employees after they have gobbled up their profits to invest in one or more of their hair brain ideas. In addition, History channel will continue to kick the crap out of them with original, bold, and innovative new ideas for programming while Discovery continues to churn out bile like Honey Boo Boo. Get a clue? I doubt it....

    Advice to Management

    Collectively speaking, the evaluation and development of talent across the board is atrocious. Creativity and passion are rewarded with extreme under appreciation. You really need to pay close attention to the people in power positions who can make or break someones career. Talent should be embraced and developed. NOT destroyed. Jealously is alive and well at this company.


  3. Helpful (2)

    Great organization prior to going public, now a machine

    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee

    I worked at Discovery Communications full-time (More than 10 years)

    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO
    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

    Pros

    Awesome benefits, salaries and great people

    Cons

    No longer a great creative company, driven by quarterly earnings and lining the pockets of the CEO, pretty much a machine that will use you up and spit you out. Don't consider it a career move.

    Advice to Management

    Come back down in the trenches and see what the product is all about. Share the wealth!


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  5. Helpful (3)

    Overworked and under appreciated.

    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Marketing in Silver Spring, MD
    Former Employee - Marketing in Silver Spring, MD

    I worked at Discovery Communications full-time (More than 5 years)

    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook

    Pros

    Interesting internal events and benefits for employees including a wellness center, nutritionist, craft fairs and opportunities to meet discovery network celebrities.
    Great travel perks- stayed at the finest hotels. Smart and creative staff.

    Cons

    When asked what it was like working at discovery many alum will refer to it as a "sweatshop." The hours expected to work are completely unreasonable, unsustainable and the pay is not as competitive as you'd hope for. Biggest issue is upper management- they see their employees as replaceable, make false promises about promotions and only look out for themselves rather than their larger team.

    Advice to Management

    If you want to retain talented people recognize their hard work, promote from within and practice what you preach about work/life balance.


  6. Helpful (1)

    Strong culture of employee benefits but very political environment

    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee

    I worked at Discovery Communications full-time (More than a year)

    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

    Pros

    I found the company provides managers a lot of tools to support employee development, and encourages employees to use a solid infrastructure of benefits, including on site medical care. I appreciated the opportunity to work with the slate of experienced professionals who provide corporate services like HR, Finance and Legal.

    Cons

    Satellite offices do not have all of the same perks as headquarters, and headquarters is populated with people who therefore feel more "privileged" and look down on those employees who work outside of Silver Spring.

    Within the digital media team, there is an enormous amount of churn, and the reasons are many but include 1) a lack of interest in investing in hiring full time talent and a focus on outside consultants and outsourcing development 2) a weak ad sales team that can't meet forecasts which create endless budget cuts and 3) a senior leadership team that focuses more on politics than on team development and management.

    What team you belong to matters, sometimes more than your actual contribution, when it comes to moving up in the company.

    Advice to Management

    Understand the causes of employee churn, and fix the root of that problem.


  7. Helpful (6)

    Discovery Channel, still operating like it's 1995

    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee in Silver Spring, MD
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee in Silver Spring, MD

    I have been working at Discovery Communications full-time (More than 3 years)

    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO
    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

    Pros

    There are some fantastic in house benefits: on-sight wellness center; free yoga and bootcamp, daycare, an inflatable shark attached to the building every couple of years...

    Cons

    ... but the benefits don't make up for the lousy pay (it's TV, who needs to pay rent?); the little to no likelihood of advancement unless you're already walking out the door; and a senior management that's still programming and promoting like it's 1995 and diversity isn't a necessary part of building a successful brand.

    Advice to Management

    Fire everybody. This management is so co-dependent and dysfunctional, a therapist would recommend a divorce. Running your networks based on fear is not going to inspire anyone to great heights.


  8. Helpful (2)

    Undervalued and out of the loop.

    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Analyst in New York, NY
    Current Employee - Analyst in New York, NY

    I have been working at Discovery Communications full-time (More than a year)

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

    Pros

    - Great perks
    - Good people
    - Relaxed environment in the research department (unlike ad sales)
    - Easy to take pride in the brand

    Cons

    - Feel like just a cog, very replaceable and undervalued
    - Low pay
    - Boring; management unresponsive when asked for more responsibility
    - I feel like my brain is rotting
    - Generally unorganized and no communication between teams and groups

    Advice to Management

    Value your new employees! They could be the ones to stay with the company and shape it in the future, but the turnover rate is so high...


  9. Helpful (6)

    Some of the best and the worst all in one place

    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Coordinating Producer in Silver Spring, MD
    Former Employee - Coordinating Producer in Silver Spring, MD

    I worked at Discovery Communications full-time (More than 3 years)

    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO
    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

    Pros

    The benefits were great, the pay was great, there were always fun activities and things happening, the on-site health clinic was awesome. There were some very smart and talented people in the building. One of the best parts was being able to tell people you worked for Discovery, it's such a well loved brand.

    Cons

    It often felt like a prison. If you were not working at night, over the weekends, on your vacation days, and even while home sick, you might be considered slacking. At the same time, you are surrounded by people who are not doing their job or doing much of anything. Lots of "lifers" settle into the comfort of the corporate environment and somehow get promoted into director or VP spots without actually knowing much or having much talent.

    Advice to Management

    Stop re-organizing the company every 6 months. I was there for 3.5 years and worked under 5 different managers due to corporate restructuring and layoffs. Give people and ideas time to grow and develop instead of cutting off potential at the first sign of weakness. Stop cultivating an environment of fear where people get rewarded for doing nothing more than being able to survive the insanity long enough.


  10. Helpful (2)

    Horrible environment, clueless management of digital business

    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee

    I have been working at Discovery Communications

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

    Pros

    Talented and nice people, casual atmosphere

    Cons

    Clueless upper management unable to stick with one growth strategy for very long, much less communicate clear directives to staff. Executives are more concerned with positioning themselves for the next promotion through smoke and mirrors metrics than leading successful projects. Production does not matter here. Video is just a vessel for experimenting with data. Terrible office space suffers from overcrowding and a lack of insulation. This is a sinking ship.


  11. Helpful (4)

    Discovery takes advantage of younger employees paying lower salaries.

    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Producer/Editor in Silver Spring, MD
    Former Employee - Producer/Editor in Silver Spring, MD

    I worked at Discovery Communications full-time (More than 10 years)

    Doesn't Recommend
    No opinion of CEO
    Doesn't Recommend
    No opinion of CEO

    Pros

    Company has great name recognition. It was once a very fun filled company but has since grown to strictly value ratings and bottom line over the value of its core which is employees.

    Cons

    The company has become so very corporate that it has lost its spirit and failed to celebrate the most important resource - the employees.



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