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Super Lawyers Business Edition: Alan Braverman of The Walt Disney Co. and the ever-changing media landscape

Super Lawyers Business Edition: Alan Braverman of The Walt Disney Co. and the ever-changing media landscape

Photo: Dustin Snipes

Last week, we launched Super Lawyers Business Edition, which includes extensive profiles of GCs from top companies, along with a comprehensive list of attorneys in business-related practice areas. The magazine, which can be read in print, digitally or online, features a piece about The Walt Disney Co.‘s general counsel, Alan Braverman, whose in-depth interview for the piece was his first in 18 years.

Braverman, general counsel of Disney since January 2003, is praised by John Pepper, the chairman of the board for Disney, for his diligence in making sure legal issues are handled correctly and all ramifications are understood, while Bob Iger, the president and CEO of Disney, commends Braverman’s ability to be flexible and adapt to the incredible changes in the media and entertainment industry.

In this excerpt from the profile, Braverman talks about the changes since his time as general counsel of ABC (which was acquired by Disney in 1996):

“We are going through an amazing, interesting, transformational time,” [Braverman] says. “When I was at ABC, the most driving issue was the strength of our prime-time schedule. If we had great shows, the business took care of itself.”

His CapCities boss had a motto: You want to be No. 1; it’s OK to be No. 2; and you hate to be No. 3–but you still make money even if you come in last place.

“Today you could have wonderful creative success with a program and not have it work because there are too many alternatives,” he says. “Warren Buffett, who was on the board of CapCities, was fond of saying, ‘We’re not in the TV business; we’re in the business of competing for people’s leisure time.’ As much as I loved the old CapCities days, this is an unimaginably more exciting time.”

To find out more about the legal issues that Braverman deals with (including his deft handling of copyright infringement issues with the advent of YouTube), how he ascended to the top attorney position at Disney, and why he and Iger can never both be happy the day the Yankees and the Red Sox play, read the entire profile here or here in our digital mag.

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