Sean Joell Johnson

Multi-hyphenate Entertainment & Business Affairs Veteran

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  • Career Pivots
  • Film & TV Legal Issues
  • Copyrights and Trademarks
  • Owning Your Career

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Biography

Sean Joell Johnson is an accomplished lawyer, award winning television producer and former network executive. He is Acting Head of Business & Legal Affairs for Fuse Media, home of the Fuse and FM television networks and Fuse.tv (Fuse is in 60 million homes, FM is in 43 million homes). Sean oversees all business and legal activities for the network as well as its Standards and Practices dept. Prior to that he was most recently Of Counsel to the boutique law firm, Taylor Louis LLP headquartered in New York City and the Principal of LeftCenter Entertainment LLC, a television and digital production company.

Sean’s experience includes over ten years as Vice President of Business and Legal Affairs for MTV Networks managing business and legal matters for the creation, distribution and marketing of intellectual property across all media including television, feature film, home entertainment and digital. Sean drafted and negotiated cost effective agreements relating to MTV Programming (i.e. dayparts, award shows, specials, news and sports) including talent, production, sponsorship, program acquisition and development agreements.

Sean’s legal experience includes negotiating contracts for MTV hits such as The Osbournes, Punk’d and Pimp My Ride and overseeing all legal and business affairs for the MTV Video Music Awards and MTV Movie Awards for five (5) years; Serving as lead attorney for MTV ‘event’ programming including the NFL Halftime Show, Tibetan Freedom Concert, Woodstock ’99, EMP Museum Concert, and the Republican/Democratic National Conventions as well as negotiating overall programming agreements with professional sports leagues including NFL Properties, NBA Entertainment and Major League Baseball. Sean also supervised and oversaw all day-to-day legal production work for the MTV and MTV2 television programming services. He also conducted pre-broadcast review on series and specials.

Sean is also an award-winning producer who has a long list of credits to his name from various networks (ASPiRE, BET, VH1, Centric, BET J, MTV, VH1 Tempo). He recently produced the film ”Christmas Wedding Baby” which premiered on BET. He also produced three seasons of ABFF Independent the first original series on Earvin ‘Magic’ Johnson’s ASPiRE television network along with Network’s Launch Special. He has held a Consultancy with The Ford Foundation researching and developing documentary projects. Other clients include NAACP Legal Defense Fund, The Huffington Post, Brandable Inc. and Red Bull Media House.

Prior to LeftCenter, Sean was the Programming Strategist and Executive Producer for BET Networks, ‘BET J’ network. At BET, Sean split his time overseeing programming strategy for BET J (the precursor to Centric) and executive producing a number of television series for the network including Real Life Divas, The J List and My Two Cents. Sean was a key architect in transitioning the former ‘BET Jazz’ into ‘BET J.’ Sean also served as a member of launch team for MTV Network’s ‘VH1 Tempo,’ and served as the Executive in Charge/Executive Producer for the Pan-Caribbean cable network that focused exclusively on the Caribbean.

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