Discovery Communications Reviews | Glassdoor

Discovery Communications Reviews

Updated July 14, 2017
82 reviews

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Discovery Communications President and CEO David M. Zaslav
David M. Zaslav
40 Ratings

82 Employee Reviews

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Pros
  • Great people and work- life balance (in 69 reviews)

  • Amazing company to work with, great benefits and opportunities to grow (in 78 reviews)

Cons
  • I think work-life balance is Discovery has some opportunity areas (in 34 reviews)

  • all of upper management is scared to say no to leadership (in 34 reviews)

More Pros and Cons

  1. "Finance"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee in Nashville, TN
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee in Nashville, TN
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

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

    Pros

    Brand name recognition and they spend money to make you feel comfortable. Good equipment. SOME good people.
    Others will slit your throat.

    Cons

    Always watching your back. people always waiting to take your position.
    WAY to much posturing. There are some good managers here and then there are some that have horns growing out of their head. They could seriously care lass where you get your next meal.

    Advice to Management

    Get rid of the people that are a cancer and this includes everyone .
    Treat your people the way they should be treated. In ALL departments. Appreciate them rather than shifting them around and changing their job detail.


  2. "Not a great place for working Moms"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Doesn't Recommend

    I worked at Discovery Communications full-time

    Pros

    Benefits are really good and they offer onsite daycare.

    Cons

    The company prides itself on being a great place to work for working moms, but there are several individual groups you end up working for work where that is just not the case.

  3. Helpful (2)

    "Executive Producer"

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

    I have been working at Discovery Communications full-time (More than 10 years)

    Pros

    Hiring my own teams and able to make decisions quickly without a lot of input from higher ups - however this extremely RARE in the company as a whole.

    Cons

    Salaries are not competitive, leadership like to clean house too often and lets all the institutional knowledge walk out the door. This allows the same mistakes/bad programming to be made over and over again. Bring back the OG and ratings will improve - especially at DSC and APL. A lot of lip service is given to risk-taking but then decision makers don't want to lose their jobs so stretching to try new things is minimal and thus brings down the whole company.

    Advice to Management

    Give new ideas a fighting chance - put money and leadership behind them. Move into the digital space for real - real content - put real money behind it - people have the ideas - TURN THEM LOOSE! The regimes of yesteryear were not afraid to take big swings and even when striking out didn't run from next great project - they kept swinging. Also - LA and NYC are not the end all be all - Discovery programming was doing better ratings when centralized in Silver Spring. There are as many creatively talented people here as there are in bigger towns.


  4. Helpful (7)

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

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • 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.


  5. "Used to be great ... now all closed-door whispering and corporate speak"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee

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

    Pros

    It used to be the best in the busine4ss.

    Cons

    What everyone has been saying about Discovery is unfortunately true. It was THE place to be 10 years ago - but crappy programming, constant shakeups and layoffs, and concern for the almighty dollar has ruined its rep, rightfully so.


  6. "Nero is 'fiddling'..."

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • 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).


  7. Helpful (3)

    "Executive Assistant"

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

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

    Pros

    In its "former state", this company was truly the epitome of a top workplace. Great people. Great benefits. Great environment.

    Cons

    It's a new day there now. No appreciation for the longer-tenured employees who really MADE Discovery what it WAS !! And now, these true foundation-builders have been booted out of there.

    Advice to Management

    You should have seriously appreciated the personnel who MADE this company. But now, what goes around is truly coming around with all these millennials who are clueless about loyalty, staying for 12 to 15 months and seeking greener pastures elsewhere.

  8. "Sales Manager"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

    I worked at Discovery Communications full-time

    Pros

    Good Salary and nice people to work with

    Cons

    No Future in digital media. loosing its presence


  9. Helpful (1)

    "Micromanagement First, Trust Second"

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

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

    Pros

    Benefits, "Resume", Plenty of resources to grow, The Cove (onsite cafe)

    Cons

    Vague expectations, Senior Management waxes eloquence often, Lack of empowerment

    Advice to Management

    Empower your younger/newer employees to take ownership of defining the culture. Very corporate, very "too big to fail." Brand awareness campaigns would certainly help.


  10. Helpful (1)

    "Zero Transparency From Senior Management"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

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

    Pros

    Good benefit, good work-life balance, good coworkers.

    Cons

    You have no idea what senior management is thinking about. They say one thing and do another, leaving employees blindsided. The most political place I have ever worked in. Some managers do not value employees based on work performance, but based on whoever is their favorite. Later the manager would form a clique with whoever is their favorite, and exclude others from getting information. Some managers are very dishonest and passive aggressive. They don't give employees direct or real comments about their work, instead, they set people up behind their back. Very toxic leadership style.

    Advice to Management

    Be more transparent to employees, and communicate better with employees instead of judging people based on their look, race or other unrelated reasons. Value employee based on their actual work performance.


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