Media Rights Coordinator

Posted: May 19, 2021

This American Life is looking for a Media Rights Coordinator to track and organize all of our film-related work. The ideal candidate will be independent, diplomatic, and a creative organizer. This American Life has been on the air since 1995, has won every major award for journalistic excellence, and is hugely popular, with 5.3 million radio listeners and podcast downloads each week. Numerous films and series have been made based on our stories, including Unbelievable and Come Sunday on Netflix, and Mike Birbiglia’s Sleepwalk With Me. At any given time, we have around 15-20 stories in some stage of development.

Some things you’ll do in this role:

  • Track all contracts, from negotiated deal to final signed contracts and payments, for our film department. You’ll also push agencies, lawyers, and buyers as needed to move contracts or submissions along.
  • Schedule and confirm meetings with our Film Producer and outside filmmakers, agents and executives. Since many of these contacts are on the West Coast, some flexibility will be needed to check in after East Coast hours.
  • Create and maintain a database of available stories, stories under option, projects in development, and option expiration dates, along with other relevant related info.
  • Respond to incoming film and TV rights queries from agents and filmmakers.
  • Proofread contracts to assure alignment with our internal checklist before signature.
  • Track down rights information with contributors and life rights holders, as needed. As part of this, you’ll talk through life rights with life rights holders, and refer them to agents or lawyers in conjunction with the Film Producer, as needed.
  • Work with our Finance Manager to track timely option payments.
  • Help identify possible stories for adaptation from our back library and upcoming shows.

Some things we’re looking for:

  • Excellent communication skills; you’ll be talking to journalists, agents, life rights holders, etc. and a professional and personable phone and email manner is essential.
  • Proven organizational skills; ideally, you have experience creating and maintaining detailed, organized databases and/or filing systems that are accessible and understandable to others.
  • Proven ability to multitask, and a willingness to take on whatever needs doing.
  • Independence; you have experience self-organizing and prioritizing and are able to diplomatically and effectively push outside contractors as needed.
  • Strong interest or background in the film and/or TV industry is a plus; this doesn’t need to be extensive, but would be ideal to have some sense of agencies, filmmakers, studios, financiers, etc.

This role is a part-time salaried role at 20 hours/week and will dually report to our Film Producer and Finance Manager. Part-time employees are eligible to receive Dental, Vision, and life coverage and are also eligible to enroll in our 401k (with matching contributions). We don’t provide Medical coverage to part-time employees because our plan does not allow it. Part-time employees are also eligible for pro-rated time off and participation in our profit-sharing plan.

This position is based out of the This American Life office in New York City, although remote employees (US Only) will be considered equally. Currently, the entire staff is still working remotely at least through the end of the summer. For applicants in the Eastern and Central time zones, please note that this job interacts with our colleagues on the West Coast on a daily basis, and work hours will skew later in the day to accommodate the time difference.

We believe that having a diverse staff is the only way to effectively document the reality of life in this country with the proper nuance and perspective. A more diverse group of people working behind the scenes makes us better at every stage of our processes. So we strongly encourage people of all backgrounds, races, genders, and abilities to apply.

To apply, please send your cover letter and resume to [email protected]. If you have references ready, please include them. Please put “Media Rights Coordinator” and your name in the subject line. When you apply, you will get a notification that your application was received. If we decide to move forward with your application, we will reach out to you directly to schedule an interview.