From 1978 to 1982，he worked for Select TV Programming Inc., as vice president of programming. He also held the position of vice president of pay TV and post-theatrical markets for Paramount and senior creative executive at Paramount Pictures.
1984–1994: At Disney
Following a position at Paramount Pictures, Mechanic moved to Disney in 1984, subsequently building its home-video units both in the United States and overseas from minor industry players to nearly double the size of their nearest competitors. The division grew from $30 million in revenue to over $3 billion and notched the majority of the all-time best-selling videos. Mechanic pioneered the concept of direct sales to mass merchants, which has become an important part of the home entertainment business today. At the Walt Disney Studios, where he served as president of international distribution and worldwide video, he oversaw international theatrical, worldwide home video, and worldwide pay television. Mechanic is married to Carol Mechanic. They have a daughter named Aaron Mechanic. One of Mechanic's critical moves occurred when he ended a five-year relationship between Disney and Warner Bros. for the overseas distribution of the Disney studio's theatrical product and set up Buena Vista International. In its first full year of operation, the unit became the industry's No. 1 Distributor. It was the first completely new international theatrical distribution organization in more than three decades. Mechanic had also served as both senior vice president of Walt Disney Home Video and vice president of pay television sales for the Walt Disney Company. During this period, he also oversaw network specials for Disney Television that received several Emmy Awards nominations.
1994–2000: At Fox Entertainment
In 1994, he became the chairman and chief executive officer of Fox Filmed Entertainment., which is a corporate division of News Corporation. In his new position, Mechanic was responsible not only for Fox's home video activities, but for production, marketing, distribution, international theatrical activities, and pay TV as well. Fox produced the number-one grossing films worldwide in 1995, 1996 and 1997 with Die Hard with a Vengeance, Independence Day and Titanic. As a result of his leadership, in 1998, Twentieth Century Fox was the number-one studio in worldwide box-office gross revenue. That same year, Fox Music produced five of the top ten selling soundtracks: Titanic, Hope Floats, Dr. Dolittle, Bulworth, and Ally McBeal. In addition, during his reign the studio produced six of the top ten grossing movies of all time and six of the top ten selling live-action videos-both domestically and internationally-including the best-selling video in history, Titanic. Under his management, in all, the studio earned 72 Oscar nominations including 5 Best Picture nominations. In June 2000, it was reported that Bill Mechanic was leaving under intense pressure from Rupert Murdoch, chairman of Fox parent News Corp, and the mogul's No. 2 executive, Peter Chernin. Mechanic confirmed in an interview that he was leaving, calling it a resignation. But other sources said Chernin fired Mechanic, and informed Murdoch about it.