In company-wide memo following the announcement of Viacom’s year-end results, our CEO Philippe Dauman and COO Tom Dooley looked ahead with excitement about the creativity and innovation that are happening around the company.
“There’s so much that we’re excited about in the year to come,” they write. According to the note, they’re particularly excited for more storytelling. More connection. More inclusion. More growth. “Creativity is the connective tissue of it all.” You can read the particulars reprinted from the note, below.
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We’ll invest more than ever this year in telling great stories and entertaining our audiences on every screen. We have a portfolio that creates shows as different and great as TV Land’s forthcoming Younger, from the legendary Darren Star, VH1’s upcoming 90s nostalgia comedy Hindsight, and Spike’s bold new scripted fare like Tut and Red Mars. We create characters that impact audiences on any screen. Nickelodeon’s SpongeBob Square Pants will get another bite at the big screen with Paramount Animation’s first movie The SpongeBob Movie: Sponge Out of Water in February. And a beloved Paramount film will find new life on Nickelodeon when the School of Rock television series, executive produced by the incomparable Richard Linklater, comes to the network in the spring.
As we create great entertainment, we create new ways to connect our audiences with our work. MTV’s “Always On” project is boldly reimagining how television can reflect the culture conversation and social media in real-time. We’re building on our legacy of being first to market with innovative distribution partners, from Sony’s new internet-based television service to Verizon’s forthcoming mobile video service. And we’re building our own, exceptional products, from the new Nick Jr. app and its stunning design for digital native kids, to the CMT Artists app, which connects fans with the tidal wave of young country music talent.
Logo’s first-ever Trailblazers was a powerful tribute to LGBTQ pioneers that will return in 2015 and provide a strong banner tentpole for the network as it continues its evolution. In January, BET will debut Book of Negroes, a miniseries adaptation of the acclaimed 2007 novel on a woman’s harrowing escape from slavery. Finally, Comedy Central is reinventing late-night again with The Minority Report with Larry Wilmore, a long overdue platform for diverse perspectives in the 11 o’clock hour. Can’t wait for that one. In a world in which can feel alternately more tolerant and polarized than ever, we’re reflecting the diversity of our audiences better than ever.
International growth is the great frontier of our business. The acquisition of Channel 5 was a big victory for Viacom, and it’s inspiring and moving to see how excited its employees are to join our family. Great things will come there as we bring them into the fold, and amplify the impact of their great creative work. Paramount Channel continues to bring the world’s greatest film library to audiences around the world, and launches in the promise-laden Latin American market this month. Spike is going global. And then there’s the personal growth we all aspire to and we want you to achieve here at Viacom. The employee survey has been an incredibly helpful resource for us, and we want to ramp up our professional development efforts in 2015, from the continuation of our Internal Mobility program, to efforts like our Viacom Hackathons in New York to Viacom International Media Networks’ innovation competition, The Pitch, which attracted 117 submissions from teams of employees around the globe.