Discovery Communications Reviews in Washington, DC | Glassdoor

Discovery Communications Washington DC Reviews

Updated April 24, 2017
224 reviews

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Washington, DC Area

3.5
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Discovery Communications President and CEO David M. Zaslav
David M. Zaslav
140 Ratings

224 Employee Reviews

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Pros
  • Provides for great Work Life balance (in 66 reviews)

  • Amazing company to work with, great benefits and opportunities to grow (in 73 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. Helpful (3)

    "Great benefits. Cool events. Good people but No stability."

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • 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
    Negative Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

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

    Pros

    Amazing benefits
    Fun events at the office and free food
    Metro accessible
    If you have a good team, you're lucky.
    Great and new innovative tools to work with to make work flow easier

    I worked at a specific department within a division and the direct team I worked with was great. During my short time there, I enjoyed the fun vibe of discovery and the cool perks they had to offer. My direct team was awesome and encouraged growth and we were organized as a team. I really enjoyed that part. The team and people I worked with really tried to utilize new tools to make things easier and communicated well.

    I just wish that I had a chance to switch to another department/division more suited for my needs so I could continue working at discovery outside of the department I was in. But there seems to be a hiring freeze and only contracting.

    Cons

    The summary here is only referring to the department I was in. I am sure other departments are completely different. However think really deeply before accepting a job here. Your stay may not last long. There is no stability here. So much that the HR and management are literally scripted/trained to make the severance package sound like it's the best thing ever. Also the culture here is soooo used to lay offs that they twist it up so it seem as if you voluntarily chose to leave. They celebrate your leave here to "ease" the guilt and awkwardness. At least you are given a two week notice though...which can be beneficial but also very uncomfortable to deal with.

    Although I worked w a tight knit team at this department., the overall department I worked with was very unwelcoming and very cliquey . People here are nice overall, but in this particular department they are very cliquey and not welcoming at all and not that warm either. You either will be welcomed, or find yourself confined to your cube and that's it. But I feel like you have the short end of the stick if you are new to the team, because the old timers will not include new comers. And you could be held accountable for things if you are somehow involved in the project.
    In fact, I feel like this entire department is too confined to their cubes and it is really hard to have that fun family culture here. They do fun celebrations for members of the team like baby showers, bridal showers, etc...but I also feel like it is for their "favorites". You don't really feel comfortable, honestly. And even left out on important discussions and decisions regarding various projects that may impact you. You may find out that a project you were heavily involved in didn't end up launching..way after you submitted it and you won't know why.
    The department I was in was silent chaos. They are working on being organized and doing their best, but there is no communication and I felt that my role was kind a tester role which didn't work out at the end because of the reorganization. There are a lot of loose ends and each small sub team has their own process from another team. Which can cause chaos when you have to work together. There is no consistency. Some teams have trouble using the same project management tools throughout the department. And you always feel as if you are stepping on someone's toes if you offer to help them.
    I feel like specific full time roles are not really valued here and lots of things are being outsourced to freelancers or contractors.

    There is a lot of tensions due to lots of reorganization and restructure and internal and external changes especially for this division, and you can see it affect the staff. There is a huge question of stability which puts people on edge. And I also believe huge changes will be happening for this department which could affect the team negatively. I anticipate another huge restructure happening very soon. So maybe think twice before taking an offer. Especially if you're looking for something long term.

    The funny thing is that since i even started, I knew off the bat that my stay here wasn't going to last long. I could just feel it. And I was right.

    Advice to Management

    Learn to communicate with your staff and stop making your own conclusions about their roles. Good luck when you lay them off and then realize the need for the role later.

    Value your staff and all the hard work they are doing. There is a lot of work to be done and a lot of hands and talent that are needed. Outsourcing is not going to help you with making your brand strong.

    Don't hire new people unless you are sure you will need them in the long run.

     Please stop being vague about the so called changes that are happening and be up front with the staff so they can stop being on edge.


  2. Helpful (1)

    "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.


  3. Helpful (2)

    "Executive Assistant"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • 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.


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  5. Helpful (1)

    "Burning out"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee in Sterling, VA
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee in Sterling, VA
    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

    I have been working at Discovery Communications full-time (More than a year)

    Pros

    Great people
    Generous benefits package
    Fair compensation
    Great place to get your career started

    Cons

    Overall ineffective management. I feel as though a lot of the management team are "bosses" instead of leaders. Micromanagement and favoritism run rampant. Very little opportunity for growth and relatively poor work/life balance.

    Advice to Management

    Please stop the micromanagement. It doesn't get anything done and only serves to build resentment and ill-will amongst your staff. There are some very smart, dedicated people at this company. It's not always bad to let them do their thing. Stop with the favoritism as well. There are some employees that develop at a much faster rate while others get left behind. They feel trapped and isolated because of this. Give everyone a chance to sharpen their skills.


  6. "Spring Intern"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Intern - Spring Intern in Silver Spring, MD
    Current Intern - Spring Intern in Silver Spring, MD
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    I have been working at Discovery Communications as an intern (More than 5 years)

    Pros

    Very organized internship program. Great colleagues. Great learning opportunities.

    Cons

    Nothing really on top of my head.

    Advice to Management

    None


  7. Helpful (2)

    "Smart, dedicated coworkers,constant layoffs."

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Publicist in Silver Spring, MD
    Former Employee - Publicist in Silver Spring, MD
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

    I worked at Discovery Communications (More than 5 years)

    Pros

    Working with some of the best in the business, a you learn a lot. And they have a lot resources which help you to do your job. They also invest in growing their employees.

    Cons

    There was a time when Discovery was a sleepy company where people spent most of their careers. But with the constant layoffs, it has caused a culture of fear.


  8. "Global Collections Analyst"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Contractor - Global Collections Analyst in Silver Spring, MD
    Former Contractor - Global Collections Analyst in Silver Spring, MD
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

    I worked at Discovery Communications as a contractor

    Pros

    Forward thinking managers, state of the art software systems, Class A IT department providing support to new systems and upgrades, supportive albeit extremely competitive staffers.

    Cons

    moving to a more global employee base and corporate belief system that anything more than 5 yrs in the same position is counter productive for the company as well as the employee.

    Advice to Management

    while focusing on disrupting the industry again, allow employees to become expert in one software system at a time so they can turn their attention toward the disruption focus instead of the learning curve for new software so often.


  9. Helpful (1)

    "Broadcast Ingest Operator"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Broadcast Ingest Operator in Sterling, VA
    Former Employee - Broadcast Ingest Operator in Sterling, VA
    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

    I worked at Discovery Communications full-time (More than 8 years)

    Pros

    A fair amount of job security.

    Cons

    Ineffectual management layers and unnecessary bureaucracy


  10. "Used to be better"

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

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

    Pros

    Fair wages and benefits. Relaxed work hours

    Cons

    Constant corporate restructuring causing a toxic and stressful environment to work in. Excessive job instability

    Advice to Management

    Re-evaluate business and employee choices you make. Do not dismiss a situation based upon feedback from the same people. Environment is very cliquish, with personal agendas


  11. "Compensation Analyst"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Compensation Analyst in Silver Spring, MD
    Current Employee - Compensation Analyst in Silver Spring, MD
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    I have been working at Discovery Communications (Less than a year)

    Pros

    Great environment and opportunities to learn other functions.

    Cons

    constant restructuring leads to layoffs


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