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Rhonda Adams Medina, Head of Business Affairs

Audible Sound Bites with Rhonda Adams Medina

As Audible’s Head of Business Affairs, Rhonda Adams-Medina heads up a team that helps facilitate the complex deals that enable us to acquire, develop and produce exciting original entertainment. And whenever an Audible Original is adapted for film or TV, her team manages those deals, too. The Harvard Law graduate came to us in 2022 with 25 impressive years of experience advising and securing deals for major entertainment companies.

Can you describe your role at Audible and what inspires you in it?

I always say that the role of the Business Affairs team is to make smart and strategic deals as efficiently as possible and then get out of the way so our talented colleagues can make the content that delights our customers.

I would add that we are entrusted with representing Audible to the outside world in an ethical, respectful and unwaveringly professional way. That means that in our interactions with partners and their reps, we speak plainly and frankly; we aim to understand their point of view while clearly representing Audible; we approach each deal with a sense of urgency that signals that our relationship with them is valued; we insist that we are treated with the same level of respect that we show them; and we graciously walk away if an advantageous deal cannot be made, with the knowledge that we could go back to them in the future.

What has your career journey at Audible been like so far?

Lori Landew brought me to Audible 16 months ago to replace her as the Head of Content Legal after she was promoted to General Counsel. Before joining Audible, I had spent 24 years heading Business and Legal Affairs in the entertainment industry working on a wide range of deals.

Audible offered that rare opportunity to join a company with start-up energy and the backing of a media heavyweight and—almost as important—the opportunity to learn the two areas of entertainment that were foreign to me: audio and theater. In my legal role at Audible, I collaborated heavily with the Business Affairs team and really enjoyed working with Pat Shah, Head of Acquisitions & Partnerships, and Jackie Levine, Senior Director, Film & TV, while they were looking for someone with TV and motion picture experience to focus on Originals. Eventually Pat asked me to take that role and Lori fully supported my transition to BA.

In your own words, how would you describe Audible's relationship to the communities in which we operate?

Audible has demonstrated a sincere and lasting concern and affinity for the city of Newark that expresses itself in real and impactful ways that are quite unique in the business community.

My department was fortunate enough to sponsor a high school intern who became a real part of our team. We were all so proud when he was an early admit into the University of Chicago. It was such a great experience that we are sponsoring an additional intern this year. I also loved the dedication of Harriet Tubman Square and the various activities we’ve held there supporting local entrepreneurs.

Perhaps the most salient example of our commitment to Newark can be seen every day on the 15th floor, when people grab their lunches from local restaurants through our Newark Working Kitchens Delivers (NWKD) program. During the bleakest days of the pandemic, this program likely kept many local restaurants afloat. If you save a local business, you not only save a family, you save a town.

Can you share about a time you were an advocate or ally for someone else?

Prior to joining Audible and more than once in my career, I have become aware that someone felt like they were being bullied by co-workers or by a supervisor. I encouraged that person to talk to their supervisor or HR rep, and I let them know that if they did not, I would be obligated to bring it to the attention of the appropriate people. I listened and provided support without making a statement on the merits of their claims. I felt empowered to help lead the person to the correct process for addressing their grievance and was happy that I could help them change their situation before it grew into something more.

What are some employee benefits that have been invaluable for you?

I love the work-from-anywhere policy (Audible employees have the opportunity to work fully remote for up to four weeks per year, from anywhere within the assigned country of their hub) and take advantage of it by working from Martha’s Vineyard in August. Nothing is more refreshing than having the privilege to work from a location where you can wake up to the sea air, take lunch on a huge wrap-around porch, and head to the beach after a busy day.

What’s a quality that someone interested in working on your team needs in order to be successful?

You have to be a master communicator. That doesn’t mean you have to be an extrovert (thank you, Susan Cain) or particularly gabby (concise communication is always preferred), but you need to be able to effectively interact with various constituencies both inside and outside of Audible and distill complex concepts into more easily digestible pieces in the interest of efficient and productive communication.

What advice would you have for a candidate considering Audible?

Become an Audible listener! The audio experience is unlike anything in entertainment. We are very proud of what we do, so put on your Air pods or jump in your car and treat yourself to Impact Winter or Moriarty to fully appreciate what we are all about.

Lightning round!

Favorite genre? YA.

What hub are you aligned to? Newark.

Listening from a speaker or in your headphones? Speaker.

Morning person or night owl? Both.

Favorite snack? The peanut M&Ms on the 13th floor. If they are restocked then I know it’s going to be a good day.

What are you listening to?

I am listening to “The Prophecy” starring Kerry Washington and Laurence Fishburne. It is a thriller of biblical proportions – literally!

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