Joining Scripps Networks
Willard joined the in-house staff of what is now Scripps Networks (a subsidiary of Scripps Networks Interactive) after serving as its outside counsel for six months. During his in-house tenure, he was involved in the various operational aspects of the programming services (including HGTV and Food Network), the development of the genre-related websites, the negotiation of distribution agreements with cable, satellite and telco operators, the securing of advertising buys, and a multitude of other business aspects of the company.
- Functioned as lead counsel for Scripps Networks’ international department — negotiated international distribution agreements and monitored legal aspects of Scripps Networks Interactive’s UK-based subsidiary
- Oversaw various legal aspects during the launch of two cable networks (DIY Network and Fine Living)
- Acted as lead counsel for all technology / operations agreements — negotiated a multi-year lease for satellite transponders; negotiated enterprise software / technology agreements; represented the Legal Affairs department in Scripps Network Interactive’s Engineering Technology Council
- Managed Scripps Networks’ intellectual property portfolio (such as cable network names and show titles); managed outside counsel during IP litigations; reviewed agreements related to product licensing of trademarks; conducted in-house seminars on intellectual property and the contracting process; managed Scripps Networks’ process for creating and administering confidentiality agreements
- Managed legal activities as lead counsel during the 2009 renewal of agreements with cable, satellite and telco distributors (representing a substantial percentage of revenue generated by Food Network and HGTV and agreements and covering other Scripps programming services such as DIY and Cooking Channel); advised team on strategy and negotiated agreements covering cable/satellite/telco distribution of Scripps Networks’ programming services including transport rights, interactive television, VOD, broadband distribution, mobile distribution, and other emerging media
- Negotiated multi-million dollar enterprise advertising sales agreements with, for example, DoubleClick, Google and other companies in so-called traditional media and/or new media; negotiated agreements for websites relating to content distribution and site functionality; worked on agreements between Scripps Networks and Nielsen
- Negotiated Scripps Networks’ long-term agreements with performing rights societies such as BMI, ASCAP and SESAC and music rights with libraries and other rights holders
- Managed operations of legal affairs as senior counsel in Scripps Networks’ New York office; managed the building of a contract analysis system for Scripps Networks’ linear distribution agreements
Willard is proud to be able to highlight his work in furthering Scripps Networks’ goals and appreciates the mutual growth he and the business shared.