Meet the New NYWIFT Member: Doris Martinez

By Maura Garnett,

Welcome to NYWIFT, Doris Martinez!

Doris Martinez brings over 20 years of experience in Partnerships & Business Development/Entrepreneurship within the US Hispanic and LATAM markets, with notable roles at HBO and DIRECTV Latin America. Her expertise spans programming strategy, content negotiations, and fostering successful partnerships.

Martinez shares insights on her career journey and industry advice, emphasizing the importance of bringing innovative ideas to the table and treating everyone with respect. With a track record of revamping programming strategies and facilitating strategic content partnerships, Martinez discusses the evolving landscape of content partnerships, emphasizing the shift towards collaboration among networks and the rise of content democratization through platforms like FAST channels.


NYWIFT Member Doris Martinez


How would you describe yourself in a brief elevator pitch? 

I am a Partnerships & Business Development/Entrepreneur with over 20 years of experience in the U.S. Hispanic and LATAM markets. Notably, I held pivotal roles at HBO and DIRECTV Latin America, where I oversaw programming strategy and led content negotiations, respectively.


What is the best industry advice you received? 

Don’t be afraid to bring a well-thought-out or thoroughly researched relevant idea to the table. It may not always be a hit, but it will demonstrate your commitment, passion, or excitement for the project you are working on—if you truly feel that way.

Another important piece of advice that has served me well is to treat everyone with respect, regardless of their titles, while also respectfully demanding the same.



What brought you to NYWIFT?

Word of mouth led me to NYWIFT. I have friends who are members and speak highly of the organization. Their positive experiences and recommendations drew me to become part of this vibrant community.


Can you share some highlights from your experience in programming strategy and content partnerships?

I revamped HBO Latino’s programming strategy by prioritizing Latino content over dubbed material from the main channel. This approach scaled up our Latino proprietary content, offered unique programming and improved the ratings of the channel. Additionally, at DIRECTV Latin America, I facilitated strategic content partnerships and worked crossed functionally to successfully launch new brands in the market. I also leveraged our distribution to successfully bring movie and series channels to our grid at no cost while also providing paid distribution deals for content providers seeking broader reach.


How do you see the landscape of content partnerships evolving in the next few years, and what opportunities do you anticipate? 

Networks are shifting from competitors to partners, resulting in a wider variety of content reaching subscribers. For example, AMC content now appears on HBO Max, and HBO series are accessible on Netflix. This trend continues, alongside ongoing mergers that expand content offerings but often lead to job cuts and industry monopolies.

However, content democratization is on the rise, thanks to FAST channels and other mediums. Despite challenges like revenue-sharing deals (they may not work for everyone), this model fosters the expansion of streaming services. It opens doors for content providers facing distribution hurdles, reduces network content acquisition costs, and offers free viewing options to audiences. I can see most subscription-based OTT platforms eventually adopting a FAST version, if they haven’t already.


What do you think are the most critical skills for success in partnerships and business development in the entertainment industry?

First and foremost, in-depth knowledge: understand your brand, content, or business thoroughly. Know its unique value proposition and how it compares to competitors.

Secondly, trustworthiness: build trust with partners by delivering on promises, maintaining transparency, and acting with integrity.

Thirdly, professionalism is key. Conduct yourself professionally in negotiations, communication, and relationship-building. Respect deadlines and commitments.

Lastly, don’t underestimate the power of courtesy. Treat others with respect and empathy. Good manners and positive interactions go a long way in fostering successful partnerships.


Doris Martinez at the 2024 NYWIFT Muse Awards


Could you tell us about a particularly challenging project you’ve worked on and how you navigated it successfully?

During my tenure at DIRECTV LATAM, I faced a challenging project: communicating to long-standing content partners that their underperforming channels would be dropped due to operational cost efficiencies. This task was particularly delicate because even religious channels, including some of the ones I was handling, were not exempt from this communication.

Unfortunately, it led to a viewers’ boycott at one of our premises. Navigating this situation required a blend of diplomacy, empathy, and strategic thinking. Ultimately, we found a resolution that balanced business needs while respecting our long-standing partnerships.


What advice would you give to aspiring professionals looking to break into programming strategy and content partnerships? 

To succeed, you must love and deeply understand the content you’re diving into. Stay informed about holidays, cultural events, current trends, and social media buzz—connect them to your programming. Craft relatable stories that resonate with viewers. Do it all with passion, integrity, and authenticity. And when you pitch to content partners, highlight the benefits you’re creating for them. Show them why joining forces with you is a win-win.



In your opinion, what are some of the key trends shaping the future of the media and entertainment industry?

Social media continues to directly influence the stories created and content trends. Firstly, due to shrinking attention spans, series are becoming shorter—often under 30 minutes per episode. If they approach an hour, there are fewer episodes, rarely spanning 6 or 8 seasons unless they’re absolute hits. Secondly, movies, unless biographical, frequently delve into current political, cultural, gender, and race issues.

Also, VR and personalized content are gaining prominence. Video games spinoffs/adaptations are also thriving in the streaming space. And of course, AI is taking everything to whole new level.


How do you approach building and maintaining successful relationships with partners and stakeholders? 

Accountability, knowledge, and accessibility are essential qualities. Additionally, being a team player who can also demonstrate leadership is crucial. These qualities may not always align simultaneously; they depend on the specific requirements of the moment and your audience. Lastly, explaining the shared benefit is key. By clarifying the benefits—whether it’s increased revenue or number of subscribers, improved processes, or enhanced collaboration—you create a win-win scenario for all parties involved.



What are some strategies you employ to stay informed about industry developments and emerging opportunities? 

I follow some key individuals on LinkedIn to stay abreast of the latest developments in the industry. Additionally, I read relevant media articles, including some from Harvard Business Review. And, of course, I engage in conversations with people in the industry and attend some network events.


Can you share a bit about any projects or initiatives you’re currently working on or excited about? 

While I won’t divulge all the details, I am very excited to be working with some amazing content partners on a project where we promise to bring a blend of creativity and strategy. I hope to announce it soon.


Stay connected with Doris Martinez’s work at  latinocircuittv.com


Maura Garnett

Maura Garnett Maura Garnett is an intern at NYWIFT and an aspiring Casting Director, Director, and producer She will graduate from the School of Visual Arts with a BFA in film and a specialization in Directing in 2024. She has previously interned for Stephanie Klapper Casting, which has led her to pursue her own career in casting. As well, as directing her own films in her free time, Maura has worked on various indie feature films and short films as a Producer and Assistant Director.

View all posts by Maura Garnett

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