Discovery Communications Reviews

Updated August 24, 2014
Updated August 24, 2014
276 Reviews

3.6
276 Reviews
Rating Trends

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

Review Highlights

Pros
  • I was given so many great opportunities - from growing in my career to having a great work/life balance (in 25 reviews)

  • Large company with great benefits, including telework options (in 25 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

Employee Reviews

Sort: Popular Rating Date
  1.  

    The worst experience in my career

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Accountant  in  London, England (UK)
    Current Employee - Accountant in London, England (UK)

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

    Pros

    Good benefits- co values are great but should be applied by the management

    Cons

    Lack of communication, no possibility for promotion, managenent not meeting the high level expected, extremely bad structure, no motivation, low salary

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Take leadership courses and build the skills required for the high level..understand e'ees needs and motivate them...

    Doesn't Recommend
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO
  2. 3 people found this helpful  

    This is a review of Discovery Education

    • 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

    Pros

    Being part of a larger media company is great and helps provide access to great people to support the business. Built close relationships with key leaders in US public schools Could be an amazing company if there was a good executive management team in place. Enjoyed working with a great team of people.

    Cons

    No hope of anyone getting promoted who is not a friend from Pennsylvania with the Sales Head (if you are sky's the limit!). Discovery Education makes a lot of poor products, unfortunately not any really great innovative products. Morale is extremely bad. Senior management spends all its time trying to sell the employees on how great Discovery Education is instead of trying to actually be great.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Promotions should be based on accomplishments and not being childhood friends with Senior Management. Management should focus on developing great products and really innovative instead of pretending to innovate. Fresh Senior Management needs to be brought in.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO
  3.  

    Discovery Channel is good - but stay well clear of the Education side of the business

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Anonymous  in  London, England (UK)
    Current Employee - Anonymous in London, England (UK)

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

    Pros

    The Discovery brand is superb and the CEO is ably growing the business. Their ability to acquire other businesses is impressive

    Cons

    The Education division is chaotic - communication is poor, staff are left in the dark, sales team don't have clarity over bonuses and targets, marketing is in disarray, editorial are fearful of the next wave of redundancies. Senior leadership has changed completely and is now very poor

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Stop making terrible decisions and stop keeping those left in the dark. We want to help make you successful - just include us

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Approves of CEO
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  5. 4 people found this helpful  

    High Attrition, Poor Leadership, Good Benefits

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

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

    Pros

    The benefits offered by the company are really good and people are great to work with.

    Cons

    This review is for the Digital Media department.

    Upper management doesn't seem to have a long-term plan for successfully leading and growing the Digital Media team and taking care of its people. There is a high rate of attrition caused by people leaving and frequent layoffs; I've seen employees hired less than 4-months ago suddenly told that their position was being eliminated.

    There is a cloud of despair and disillusionment within the department that stems from upper managements complete lack of awareness when it comes to treating employees with respect and providing them with a stable and fulfilling working environment. Instead there is the feeling that everyone is expandable and easily replaced by a consultant.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Stop playing lip service and actually show employees the respect they deserve. We need leadership that has a vision for growing the department and nurturing employees talents, instead of upper management that is quick to the draw without having a real plan of action.

    Upper management needs to start proving that they learnt more than the Pareto principle in B-School.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO
  6. 3 people found this helpful  

    It may not be what it appears to be...

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

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

    Pros

    This review is of the Broadcast group:

    Great name on your resume-just get out before it goes bad-it will.
    You will be great if you never disagree or say no to upper management.

    Cons

    Negative upper management
    No loyalty to employees-recent changes included getting rid of several long term managers. Money? Shorter term mangers were retained.
    No work-life balance if you are in a position that supports broadcast. Salary means work till you drop.
    Office politics interfere with efficiencies. HR plays favorites to their friends.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Respect the people that work for you, don't fear them or their ideas just because they may not agree with yours. If you just want someone who just says yes you don't understand good management.
    Good leadership comes from the top and what is in place doesn't know how to lead. That's where the changes are needed.
    Management's focus is very negative. Pay attention to the big picture not just the errors.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Approves of CEO
  7. 3 people found this helpful  

    This review is of Discovery Education, a part of Discovery

    • 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 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 ManagementAdvice

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

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
  8. 1 person found this helpful  

    Looks Great From the Outside, but Miserable on the Inside

    • 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

    Pros

    Good benefits, doctor's office inside the building.

    Cons

    Discovery 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 ManagementAdvice

    Trim 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.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
  9. 3 people found this helpful  

    Don't Work for the Discovery Education Division

    • 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

    Pros

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

    Cons

    Just 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 ManagementAdvice

    You 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.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Positive Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO
  10.  

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

    • 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 for more than 3 years

    Pros

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

    Cons

    Primadonna 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 ManagementAdvice

    As if...

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
  11.  

    Suck up or move on

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Project Manager  in  Chicago, IL
    Current Employee - Project Manager in Chicago, IL

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

    Pros

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

    Cons

    I 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 ManagementAdvice

    Promote 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.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    Approves of CEO

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