Discovery Communications

  corporate.discovery.com
  corporate.discovery.com

Discovery Communications Reviews

Updated October 26, 2014
Updated October 26, 2014
285 Reviews
3.7
285 Reviews
Rating Trends

Recommend to a friend
Approve of CEO
Discovery Communications President and CEO David M. Zaslav
David M. Zaslav
173 Ratings

Review Highlights

Pros
  • Work life balance depends on your manager (mine at the moment rocks (in 27 reviews)

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


Cons
  • Zero work/life balance where any addition employee perk could not even been enjoyed (in 19 reviews)

  • Upper management that does not listen to the feedback of its middle management (in 15 reviews)

More Highlights

35 Employee Reviews Back to all reviews

Sort: Popular Rating Date
  1.  

    Strong culture of employee benefits but very political environment

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

    I worked at Discovery Communications full-time (more than an year)

    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 ManagementAdvice

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

    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
  2. 2 people found this helpful  

    Discovery Channel, still operating like it's 1995

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    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)

    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 ManagementAdvice

    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.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO
  3. 1 person found this helpful  

    Undervalued and out of the loop.

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    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 an year)

    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 ManagementAdvice

    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...

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
  4. Is this helpful? The community relies on everyone sharing – Add Anonymous Review


  5. 4 people found this helpful  

    Some of the best and the worst all in one place

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    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)

    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 ManagementAdvice

    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.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO
  6. 1 person found this helpful  

    Horrible environment, clueless management of digital business

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

    I have been working at Discovery Communications

    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.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
  7. 2 people found this helpful  

    Discovery takes advantage of younger employees paying lower salaries.

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    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)

    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.

    Doesn't Recommend
    No opinion of CEO
  8.  

    Terrible management

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

    I have been working at Discovery Communications full-time

    Pros

    good benefits, good pay, flex hours.

    Cons

    Management has absolutely no idea what they are doing. Basically the prototypical bad managers who are knowitalls who dont share any information, dont lead their employees and dont encourage growth or development. After positions opened up offering opportunities for lateral career development, I was informed through hearsay that the director did not want to fill these positions from within the company. There is no possibility of career advancement, despite much lip-service being paid to it.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Take a management class.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Positive Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
  9.  

    Major growth corporation still trying to act like a small small with executives not suited for globle business.

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    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 an year)

    Pros

    Employees perks such as onsite health clinic.

    Cons

    Zero work/life balance where any addition employee perk could not even been enjoyed.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    There is a lack of leadership in critical functions such as HR that significantly impacts middle management at this company. Talent retention (and not the people on the screens) is non-existent within in critical functions.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Positive Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO
  10. 2 people found this helpful  

    Looking to Advance in Your Career? Then Don't Look Here.

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

    I have been working at Discovery Communications full-time (more than 8 years)

    Pros

    Discovery Education is growing incredibly fast and like other divisions has some truly brilliant people. Many at Discovery Education care more about the impact our work will have on students and educators rather than the amount of profit they can rake in.

    Cons

    Compensation: Discovery is renowned for not paying well and the education division is at the low end of all divisions in the company. Unless you are at the highest levels, Senior VP and up, don't expect to take much home. The comp plan for sales is by far one of the worst in the industry. Usually, the more you sale, the more you make. At Discovery you are capped at team target. Yes, a team target. Meaning you can kill your number and because your other team members do nothing, you will not make a dime.

    Career Advancement: There is none. You are a "head". I'd say don't forget that's how they see you, but they'll make sure you don't forget by referencing the "heads" in meeting after meeting, never seeming to grasp the notion that this term is demeaning and condescending. Discovery Education is extremely top heavy. VPs seem to be everywhere you look and more are added monthly. Some are in-charge of a few workshops a year. Others were hired to secure a deal or because of family relations. This culture of only promoting from the outside seems to be company-wide and not limited to the education division. It's like a memo from the CEO was sent out to make sure this happens. If you wish to advance, treat Discovery Education like an internship. Pop-in, work a few years, then exit. Work at another company for a year. Reapply and come back as a VP in charge of placing cover letters on TPS reports.

    Communication: There is none. Changes come out of the blue. Discovery Education may be full of VPs and SVPs, but really a couple of people run the show. When a decree is given, heads respond and shuffle the puppets. I think they want better communication but Discovery is run so lean, that everyone is running the equivalent of two/three jobs and lacks the time to communicate anything.

    Work-Life Balance: There is none. That's really true at any company, but here it's taken to the extreme. Discovery Education is a very lean division, below the VP level. This could easily go in the Pro category, but Discovery Education is anorexic. The heads below VP and in fairness some of the VPs, work tremendously long hours and travel more than 150 days a year. Upper management's decision to continue to add VPs means theirs no break in sight for those that actually run the division.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Develop internal talent. Provide a pathway for advancement. Hire more people before everyone burns out. Vultures like NewsCorp, Pearson and McGraw Hill are circling and will take all of the talent in the division if you don't act soon.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO
  11. 2 people found this helpful  

    Mixed bag of good people and chaos

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

    I have been working at Discovery Communications full-time

    Pros

    Fantastic benefits package, Great individuals in the company, super flexible with location, telecommute options are fantastic.

    Cons

    Management is a mess with zero long term direction. Everything changes from quarter to quarter. Zero process control on their SDLC. No ability to prioritize. Zero understanding of leading edge technologies. Company is top heavy. Too many useless meetings.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Look at industry leaders. Stop trying to save a buck immediately and look long term. Without a long term strategy, Discovery will become obsolete and unable to compete. Agile isn't working for you. The SDLC is a mess. There are too many kinks in your digital supply chain. There are not enough people on the ground actually DOING work. Use time tested examples to provide a basis for moving forward and stick with it. Otherwise the scrambling will continue until there is no money left.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

Discovery Communications Photos

Work at Discovery Communications? Share Your Experiences

Discovery Communications

 
Click to Rate
or

Your response will be removed from the review – this cannot be undone.