Sams spent 2017 learning the best way for Turner to interact with viewers. “Our businesses are seeking and using consumer data,” she says, while also considering consumers’ privacy and data security. Sams is in charge of Turner’s worldwide legal matters, including acquisitions, joint ventures, and production and clearance of content. She says that when negotiating, she tries to know what the other side wants. “My golden rule in negotiating is to put myself in the shoes of the person across the table, understand what they want out of the negotiations— that is the shortest route to a fair meeting of the minds,” she says.
What have been the most important legal issues in communications for you in the past year?
At Turner, we are focused on fan engagement which means that we are trying to learn more about our viewers so that we can interact with them in meaningful ways. Our businesses are seeking and using consumer data. From a legal perspective, we have been considering issues of consumer privacy and data security. This is not new, but certainly more pervasive across the company.
How is today’s political environment impacting your job and the industry?
Among other things, the legal department at Turner supports the CNN news business and the CNN journalists. We are always thinking about the safely of our employees, but more recently, with attacks on the media, the constant refrain of “fake news”, we are even more concerned about protecting our journalists, wherever they are located.
What is your golden rule for negotiating?
My golden rule in negotiating is to put myself in the shoes of the person across the table, understand what they want out of the negotiations – that is the shortest route to a fair meeting of the minds.
What movie superhero would you most like to be and how would that character fit into the legal world of communications?
If there is a superhero who can see into the future, I would gladly take that talent. It would help me understand better where the business is going in this quickly changing media environment and how best our lawyers can support the business and adapt to those changes.