Discovery Communications

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Discovery Communications Reviews

Updated Jul 23, 2014
All Employees Current Employees Only

3.5 255 reviews

78% Approve of the CEO

Discovery Communications President and CEO David M. Zaslav

David M. Zaslav

(159 ratings)

71% of employees recommend this company to a friend

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)

255 Employee Reviews
in
    • Culture & Values
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Career Opportunities
    • Approves of CEO

     

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

    Anonymous (Current Employee) London, England (UK)

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

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

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

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    • Disapproves of CEO

    4 people found this helpful  

    High Attrition, Poor Leadership, Good Benefits

    (Current Employee) New York, NY

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

    ConsThis 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 Senior ManagementStop 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.

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

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    • Approves of CEO

    3 people found this helpful  

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

    Anonymous Employee (Current Employee) Miami, FL

    ProsThis 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.

    ConsNegative 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 Senior ManagementRespect 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.

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

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    • Culture & Values
    • Work/Life Balance
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    • No Opinion of CEO

    3 people found this helpful  

    This review is of Discovery Education, a part of Discovery

    Anonymous Employee (Former Employee)

    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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    1 person found this helpful  

    Looks Great From the Outside, but Miserable on the Inside

    Anonymous Employee (Current Employee) Silver Spring, MD

    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

    • Culture & Values
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    • Comp & Benefits
    • Career Opportunities
    • Disapproves of CEO

    3 people found this helpful  

    Don't Work for the Discovery Education Division

    Anonymous Employee (Current Employee) Silver Spring, MD

    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)

    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

    • Culture & Values
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    • Approves of CEO

     

    Suck up or move on

    Project Manager (Current Employee) Chicago, IL

    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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    • No Opinion of CEO

     

    A culture of arrogance and ignorance.

    Anonymous Employee (Former Employee)

    ProsThey used to make some entertaining programming and it used to be cool to say that you worked for Discovery Channel, at it was back then.

    ConsThe shows on Discovery have changed though. The idea of making these shows is to create dramatic "real" programming at the cheapest possible cost, often while compromising employee safety.

    Advice to Senior ManagementStart caring about the people that are actually making you money.

    No, I would not recommend this company to a friend

    • Culture & Values
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    • Career Opportunities
    • Disapproves of CEO

    1 person found this helpful  

    Used to be a great place, but not so anymore.

    Anonymous Employee (Former Employee)

    ProsThey do offer some great benefits.

    ConsThe reviews are right on. Everyone is disposable.

    No, I would not recommend this company to a friend

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