Discovery Communications Reviews | Glassdoor

Discovery Communications Reviews

Updated June 23, 2017
623 reviews

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3.6
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Discovery Communications President and CEO David M. Zaslav
David M. Zaslav
303 Ratings

623 Employee Reviews

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Pros
  • Great people and work- life balance (in 67 reviews)

  • Amazing company to work with, great benefits and opportunities to grow (in 77 reviews)

Cons
  • Very little opportunity for growth and relatively poor work/life balance (in 33 reviews)

  • all of upper management is scared to say no to leadership (in 33 reviews)

More Pros and Cons

  1. "Challenging and Rewarding"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • 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
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

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

    Pros

    A true purpose-driven company, high-energy, talented and productive staff, wonderful senior leadership, great culture, benefits, and facilities, lots of autonomy and trust to get work done without micro-management or clock-watching, super flexible schedules.

    Cons

    Below-average pay (varies by position), small budgets, company growth and hiring oftentimes stalled by external factors, tough market to crack, under-staffed at times

    Advice to Management

    Consider investing less in sales and more in other areas, i.e. customer experience, support, marketing


  2. "Commercial Operations"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Commercial Operations in New York, NY
    Former Employee - Commercial Operations in New York, NY
    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    Approves of CEO

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

    Pros

    Good pay, a lot of kind people, and women in high positions

    Cons

    Long hours, lots of office politics

    Advice to Management

    allow people who have been at the company for years in on an occasional meeting. things were very top heavy and the worker bees were left in the dark


  3. Helpful (3)

    "Constant change, re-org and instability"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Executive Producer in New York, NY
    Former Employee - Executive Producer in New York, NY
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

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

    Pros

    Lots of opportunity on smaller networks to make big swings with less cooks in the kitchen

    Cons

    CONSTANT re-orgs, staff cuts, dramatic leadership changes and shift in goals/strategies every 6 months to a year. This makes for a challenging culture - it's hard to make big strides in any one big thing.

    Advice to Management

    Find inspiring leaders, set goals and COMMIT to them.


  4. Helpful (2)

    "Over a Decade at DCI"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - IT Engineer in Silver Spring, MD
    Former Employee - IT Engineer in Silver Spring, MD
    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

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

    Pros

    Working in Silver Spring, DCI was a good and laid-back culture. If you had ambition, there was upward mobility to be had.

    Cons

    DCI may be a little slow in moving from cable content (a dying industry) to online offerings and lagged a little in promoting new technologies internally. Although the brand is a household name I worried about the company's future.

    Advice to Management

    Historically the company worked well when the culture lent itself to ideas bubbling from the bottom up. In the past few years it has moved towards more of a top-down culture which I feel has harmed more than it has helped.


  5. Helpful (4)

    "Limping along a bit rudderless"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Senior Editor in Silver Spring, MD
    Current Employee - Senior Editor in Silver Spring, MD
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

    I have been working at Discovery Communications full-time

    Pros

    Still here providing new shows. Pay and HR benefits match better companies.

    Cons

    Very overcompsated CEO has no clue as to where the company should be going in this age of cord cutting. He's flailing about looking for answers by hiring supposed experts that can't deliver. Executives are not held to account for their shortfalls, but those same executives along with the board are quick to remove far, far less paid employees to make up the difference for their lack of vision. This only makes for more failure as many of those let go were significant contributors to what made the company great. It's a downward spiral to mediocrity. Our shows have gotten worse as the execs depend more on doing the same thing as the competition rather than doing as we used to - set the bar. Many of our best creatives have left to take their creativity to our competition.

    Advice to Management

    Seek a buyer for the company. Become accountable to the general stockholders. Current practice is that the board is free to ignore stockholders' votes and do as they please- to worsening effect.


  6. "Good place to work"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Network Presentation Schedule Analyst in Miami, FL
    Current Employee - Network Presentation Schedule Analyst in Miami, FL
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

    I have been working at Discovery Communications full-time (More than 5 years)

    Pros

    Good Place to work. Great benefits. Excellent working relationships. Close to restaurants. Excellent management staff and training opportunities.

    Cons

    The brand is not what it used to be.


  7. "Unknown future"

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

    I have been working at Discovery Communications full-time

    Pros

    Opportunities for self-starters and organizational politicians to ascend the career ladder quickly. Innovation is encouraged and rewarded at times. The company still has the resources to make strategic investments.

    Cons

    Company's future is uncertain. Some segments of the company depend on declining industry segments while others are taking big bets on new ventures. Employees feel like pawns in a large game of business development.

    Advice to Management

    Reassure US-based employees that they will outlive industry decline. Make them feel involved in new digital lines of business.


  8. "Comercial Operations Supervisor"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee in Miami, FL
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee in Miami, FL
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

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

    Pros

    Amazing company to work with, great benefits and opportunities to grow.

    Cons

    Nothing, this company has a great work ethics.


  9. Helpful (5)

    "If You're a VP, You're All Set"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Writer/Producer in Silver Spring, MD
    Former Employee - Writer/Producer in Silver Spring, MD
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

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

    Pros

    Discovery Communications really does go above and beyond to make their employees healthy, engaged and balanced. The benefits back in 2013-15 were better than any other employer I had or have had since. My division used to offer Summer Fridays, which allowed you (with appropriate 40 hour work weeks M - Th) to take every other Friday off from Memorial Day to Labor Day. There are a lot of resources on-site to make your life easier, like the Wellness Center, boot camp classes, dry cleaning & cafeteria. There are a lot of ERGs, clubs and professional associations that management encourages participation in.

    Cons

    This is a corporation that trains it's "managers" that it's all about the money. I had a terrible boss who was a terribly insecure mean girl who didn't want anyone to do well but her, especially her direct reports. The culture at Discovery is odd. Women try to act like their male bosses (and trust me, all of them are white males with inflated egos). This creates a weird competitive tension, unusual alliances that on the surface feel inappropriate and if you're a VP or above, you do whatever you can to keep your job. That leaves many of the people in charge not necessarily the most talented business leaders or experts. My boss, who was alledgedly a VP, spent most of her time on the phone, sucking up to her boss by bad mouthing her employees and shopping online. After 2 years, I wanted to apply to another job in the company and my boss did everything in her "power" to make sure it wasn't an option for me, despite having her encouragement and support when she hired me to move within the company after a year or so. HR is only there to handle VPs constantly-changing staffing keepers and get-rid-of-ems. There's a lot of turnover there, for a variety of reasons, but lately the company has made huge job cuts and people are jumping ship on their own to avoid being let go. Despite handing their leader a 30+ million dollar bonus a few years ago, they're still struggling. It's a real shame. That was my experience. Probably a mistake in my career, but it didn't feel like it when I accepted the job. Oh and if you're white, heterosexual and live in Annapolis or Bethesda, you'll fit right in.

    Advice to Management

    I just can't with you right now. Egos out of control, zero creativity and pay attention to the talented people who aren't VPs. They're the ones with all the good ideas, the ones acting on them and the ones suppressed by evil insecure mean girls with an unfortunate sense of style.


  10. "Nero is 'fiddling'..."

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee in Miami, FL
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee in Miami, FL
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

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

    Pros

    Health Benefits, Annual bonus (if it applies to your position)

    Cons

    Management trends, Upper Management, workload (depending on area), no growth opportunities, recent and continual structural changes

    Advice to Management

    Basically, stop. Stop acquiring/partnering with companies just to get into an area that you know nothing about. Keep the 'old' company strong because its pillars are cracking and no one cares except the competition who will leave you behind (of course, you'll just get a ridiculous position over there though).


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