Director- Development

Position Summary

The Director –Development for Discovery Channel will be required to communicate and coordinate with independent producers and production companies outside of DCL, as well with other internal departments, including production management, legal and business affairs, finance, international networks, communications, online, advertising and promotion.


1. Create and conceptualize series, specials, stunts, franchises, properties, and other programming initiatives for domestic telecast. Research and develop programming ideas including writing requests for proposals and developing internally generated ideas.

2. Coordinate with Business Affairs to option properties, represent network investment ranges, rights, approvals and expectations for project.

3. Work with department head to identify trends, formats and new producers for development and to create or identify Upfront Specials.

4. Serve as network liaison to represent both production and development

5. Develop new relationships and maintain existing relationships with agents, producers, and writers. Build new relationships with potential partners.

6. Review scripts, treatments, and materials submitted from external vendors and work with development team to provide timely feedback as assigned.

7. Work with Marketing, Communications, Ad Sales, and Scheduling, and Production to assure projects meet all internal deadlines and are appropriately marketed and promoted with special emphasis on declared up-front specials.

8. Coordinate bi-weekly meetings to progress projects.

9. Attend Markets and Festivals as requested with a special emphasis on seeking out new producers and projects.

10. Oversee all aspects of editorial management of multiple outside production companies on multiple series and specials simultaneously. In coordination with DCL internal departments, ensure timely, effective and on-budget development, production and delivery of original commissions and co-productions.

11. Adhere to and be accountable for all aspects of DCL's editorial, budgetary and production standards, as well as contractual and deliverable requirements for DCL programming.

12. Review, edit, and approve preliminary and final treatments, outlines, shooting scripts, scripts, production schedules, budgets, selects, graphics, music, rough cuts, fine cuts, final narration and final versions of all assigned programs.

13. Coordinate with talent relations to secure hosts, new talent, experts and exclusivity deals.

14. Clearly communicate DCL's editorial requirements and standards of quality to outside production companies during earliest stages of development and pre-production. Lead project team, which includes Production Management and Business Affairs.

15. The Development Director and Executive Producers will be held jointly accountable with his or her other project team members for the effective business and financial management of their programs.

16. Represent the network to outside organizations and maintain partnerships both internal and external. Manage daily work, career growth, training and development of staff.


At least 7 years experience in the broadcast or cable industry as a producer, executive in charge of production, or head of development.
Broad knowledge of studio, multi-camera remote and single camera field production and postproduction is essential. Experience in a wide variety of program genres (e.g. entertainment, documentary, reality, drama, informational, etc.).
Strong leadership and motivational skills, with demonstrated ability to work with little supervision and under pressure to meet tight deadlines within budgetary constraints.
Superb written, verbal, and interpersonal communication skills. Strong aptitude in Research.
Ability to consistently generate and execute new ideas. Ability to work simultaneously on multiple projects in varying stages.
Strong knowledge of producing community with established agent relationships.
Bachelor's degree or equivalent experience required.
Computer literacy and database aptitude a must, knowledge of Word, Outlook, Excel, and Access preferred.
* Must have the legal right to work in the United States.

See Inside the Office of Discovery

As the world's #1 nonfiction media company, Discovery Communications fosters exploration and curiosity through its high quality television and online content, reaching more than 2 billion subscribers in over 220 countries and territories around the world. Comprised of more than 160 global television networks, Discovery counts brands like Discovery Channel, TLC, Animal Planet, Investigation Discovery, and OWN in its family, and it strives to be a leading worldwide provider of educational tools and digital media services.

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