Joseph P. Salvo


Sesame Workshop

Joseph P. Salvo currently serves as Executive Vice President and General Counsel of Sesame Workshop, the not-for-profit home of Sesame Street, where he has responsibility for all of the Business & Legal Affairs of the organization, as well as overseeing Government Affairs. During his tenure, the Workshop initiated its relationships with HBO/Warner Media for the digital distribution of Sesame Street and other original programming on Warner’s streaming platforms; renewed its 50-plus broadcast distribution arrangements with PBS; produced Emmy-award winning additional programming for Apple TV; and garnered $100 million grants from each of the MacArthur Foundation and LEGO to support its refugee-related work in the Middle East and Bangladesh, respectively.


Prior to Sesame Workshop, from 2008 until April of 2015, Joe served as General Counsel of HiT Entertainment, an international children’s entertainment company that owned such pre-eminent pre-school brands as Barney & Friends, Thomas the Tank Engine, Bob the Builder, and Angelina Ballerina, with responsibility for combined Legal & Business Affairs teams in both NYC and London. After Mattel’s acquisition of HiT in 2012 and until 2015, Joe also served as Vice President & Associate General Counsel at Mattel, Inc., with shared responsibility for the Mattel Legal & Business Affairs group.


Joe spent 13 years prior to HiT Entertainment working for a combination of Sony Music, Arista Records and Sony BMG Music Entertainment, where he was involved in a wide variety of artist and writer contracts, licensing and intellectual property issues and litigation. He personally handled contract negotiations and drafting for such diverse artists as Bruce Springsteen, Celine Dion, Whitney Houston, YoYo Ma, and John Mayer.

Joe started his career as a litigator at Weil Gotshal & Manges in NY, where he specialized in copyright and IP litigation. Joe also served as Counsel at Weil Gotshal & Manges from 2006-2008, where he advised many of the largest internet music service providers on international publishing and sound recording rights issues, including Apple, MySpace, Yahoo, AOL, Pandora, MediaNet, and Sony, and coordinated the trial team for the UK Copyright Tribunal proceeding that set the first-of-its-kind UK publishing rates for internet distribution of music on behalf of a number of digital services.


Joe served as President of the Copyright Society of the USA from June 2012-14, and has been an adjunct professor of law, teaching Entertainment Law at St John’s University School of Law, since 2001. He is a frequent lecturer at law schools, bar associations and universities on copyright, entertainment law, and entertainment law issues. Joe is a graduate of Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute and St. John’s University School of Law, both in NY.