Viacom

Erica Romero Tells the Story of Astoria You Haven’t Heard

​Erica Romero is enamored with her adapted hometown of Astoria, Queens.The location is perfect—her parents live on Long Island, and she can commute easily to Manhattan for her job here at Viacom. She appreciates the neighborhood’s vibrant mix of old and young residents, of quaint old-world charm and trendy new culture.

“Basically it’s just everything you can imagine is in this really small space,” said Romero, who’s been an Astoria resident for four years now and doesn’t plan on leaving anytime soon.

Romero and her best friend, Michelle Schultz, decided to pay homage to their beloved community by launching the Instagram account@AStoryofAstoria two years ago. While neither Romero nor Schultz are professional photographers – Romero works in Viacom’s Human Resources department, while Schultz is a professional makeup artist – they’ve developed a knack for curating the most scenic snapshots of their town, whether it’s funky street art or a beatific rooftop sunset.

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Should Someone on the Terror Watch List Be Able to Buy a Gun? Katie Couric Goes Under The Gun to Explore America’s Gun Culture

Did you know Teddy bear production and distribution is regulated more intensely than that of guns?

This is just one of many sobering facts presented in Katie Couric’s documentary Under the Gun. Executive producer Couric and director Stephanie Soechtig hope their film can change the discourse on gun violence.

flagThe documentary, which premiered in January at the Sundance Film Festival, explores this simple question: why is it so hard to keep guns out of the hands of the wrong people?

It combines the compelling stories of victims, such as families affected by the mass shooting in Newtown Connecticut, with evidence of our nation’s gun problem, while acknowledging and exploring the principal arguments of gun rights advocates.

Still, it can be nearly impossible to sway opinions on Americans’ Second Amendment rights. In his review for Variety, Geoff Berkshire wrote, “…the goal here isn’t to change minds; it’s to reignite the anger of the silent majority — those familiar feelings that bubble up and then dissipate whenever another mass shooting occurs.”

You can see for yourself on May 15, when Under the Gun makes its world television premiere on EPIX.

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Shauna Thomas Gives Back to Local Girls With the Yellow Rose Project

Shauna Thomas still catches herself getting surprised when friends call her inspiring. As the founder of the Yellow Rose Project, this is something she will have to get used to. Her project aims to help teenage girls who have lost their mothers to terminal illness. Thomas wants to motivate these girls and set them up for a brilliant future —starting with prom night.

Thomas was 7 when her mother passed away, and she was raised by her grandmother and aunt. Although she was lucky to have strong female role models in her life, she lacked the special attention only a mother can provide.

“Prom is a coming-of-age moment,” said Thomas. “It’s a celebration of adulthood—one of the key moments where you need a mother’s guidance.”

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Shauna Thomas was inspired by her late grandmother, left, and her late mother, right, to start the Yellow Rose Project.

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Viacom Remembers the Purple Prince With Music Video Marathon

MTV’s annual Upfront presentation is a time for the network to unveil new programming and celebrate innovations. This year, the festivities fell on Thursday, April 21, just hours after the world lost a deeply cherished artist—Prince Rogers Nelson. MTV – so long positioned at the center of the musical universe – quickly updated its presentation to honor one of the greatest innovators in music history.

Viacom Music and Entertainment President Doug Herzog took the stage at Skylight at the Moynihan Station, a historic New York City post office-turned production center. With Prince’s signature symbol and a purple glow cast over the majestic arena, Herzog paid tribute to the icon.

NEW YORK, NY - APRIL 21: Television executive, Doug Herzog speaks during the 2016 MTV Upfront at Skylight At Moynihan Station at Skylight at Moynihan Station on April 21, 2016 in New York City. (Photo by Mike Coppola/Getty Images for MTV)

Viacom Music and Entertainment President Doug Herzog pays tribute to the late icon at the 2016 Upfront Presentation.

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Take on New York City With the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles

Travelling to New York City soon? Need a kid-friendly dinner recommendation? Michelangelo, Leonardo, Donatello and Raphael have got you covered. The Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles love their city more than anything else—except maybe pizza. That’s why they are the official New York City Family Ambassadors.

NEW YORK, NY - OCTOBER 11: Nickelodeon's Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles take a ride on the Gray Line sightseeing bus at Times Square on October 11, 2013 in New York City. (Photo by Craig Barritt/Getty Images for Nickelodeon)

The Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles see the sights in Times Square.

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Viacom Art Show Celebrates Female Creativity

​Stepping into The Wellness Studio on March 29 for Viacom’s Creative Arts Showcase felt more like walking into a trendy, Lower East Side art gallery than a fitness center. Instead of yoga mats and free weights, the studio boasted a deejay booth, open bar, and mood lighting. The showcase featured a diverse array of film, photography, and fine art from the women at Viacom in honor of Women’s History Month.

HERE, Viacom’s Employee Resource Group for women, chose 19 female employees to showcase their bold, captivating work. Guests mingled throughout the room, munching on cheese and crackers and admiring everything from watercolors rock photography to Lego purses.

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Guests enjoy a marvelous gallery. Read More

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The artists. Read More

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Deejay Anora mixed beats to keep the crowd entertained all night. Read More

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Guests admire Ra-Re Valverde's eclectic work. When she's not capturing the gritty, raw energy and passion in New York, she works for MTV and is a contributing photographer for Essence Magazine. Read More

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Whimsical artist Alyssa Thompson shows off her extraordinary Lego purses. Read More

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Erica Romero loves to experiment with alternative artistic mediums. Read More

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Zevit Aaron started creating photographs in high school, and has enjoyed showcasing her artwork ever since. Zevit's photography contains abstracts, portraits, and landscapes that have been digitally manipulated. Read More

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Guests are captivated by Wendy Heisler's doodles. Heisler has dabbled as a writer, photographer and animator. Read More

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Photographer Lyndsi Vasquez has a deep appreciation for the humanity of urban living. Read More

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Ivette Urena is a fine artist in Brooklyn, New York. Her artistic process began as a child, during nights of watching her father draw at the kitchen table. She'd sit with him to hone her artistic talent. Read More

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Janice McDonnell is a painter who looks for beauty in undesirable places. She's showcased traditional landscapes of the Gowanus Canal. Read More

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When Caryn Reynolds isn't leading a team of technical architects and engineers for her day job at Viacom, she's busy painting bucolic scenery. Read More

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Ivette Urena shows off her vibrant landscapes. Read More

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Jennifer Marigliano has been working at VH1 since 2008, and photographing amazing talent along the way Read More

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Event organizers Rita Omokha and Deva Newman are joined by Khadijah Sharif-Drinkard, Shanell Parrish-Brown, and Courtney Oliver Read More

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Deva Newman and Rita Omokha facilitated the sold-out event. Read More

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The video showcase featured six of HERE's talented artists. Read More

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Highlights From Our Second Quarter Earnings

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VH1 Crushed ratings. Spike’s Lip Sync Battle rules its time slot. Nickelodeon simply dominates kids’ programming. There was a lot to like in Viacom’s second quarter 2016 earnings report, which went out this morning. These are just a few of the highlights. For more, click over to our Investor Relations page, where you can get a full picture of the scale and direction of our business.

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Coming Right Up: More Incredible Content From Viacom

Stuart Winchester by Stuart Winchester, Viacom

With some of the most well-known television networks in America and a major Hollywood studio in the Viacom family, we are constantly launching new original content, delivering new seasons of your favorite shows, or feeding your nostalgia with reboots of iconic characters. There’s so much, in fact, that it’s tough to keep track of it all. So we’ve put together the little calendar below to give you a sense of what you can expect from VH1, BET, CMT, Nickelodeon, and the rest of the Viacom family just through the end of August. We have new seasons of MTV’s Scream and TV Land’s The Jim Gaffigan Show, the CMT Music Awards and the Guys’ Choice Awards and the VMAs, and new original series, including Crashletes on Nick. The summer will be huge for Paramount, with new installments in the much-loved TMNT and Star Trek series, in addition to the visually stunning Ben-Hur – a calendar of their upcoming releases is below the Viacom chart.

The exact dates and names of series may change, but this much is certain: it is an excellent time here at Viacom.

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Here’s How VH1 Saved the Music in 2015

One of my fondest memories of elementary school was learning to play the recorder. I cherished the cheap, plastic instrument as if it were a silver flute. I remember the thrill of learning to create notes and harmonies with my classmates. I’m sure our beautiful melodies were abrasive to adult ears, but to us they were magical.

My music career petered out after grade school. I ditched the violin for the school newspaper. Even though I’m not a recorder maestro, my early foundation of music education has had lasting benefits.

I’m not the only one. Studies show that children who take music lessons have a greater understanding of language, and score higher on spelling tests. They are more likely to stay in school, and more likely to graduate. Childhood music lessons can even improve memory later in life.

But when schools face budget cuts, music programs are often the first to go. That’s why VH1 Save The Music Foundation is on a mission to put instruments back in the hands of children across the country. Since 1997, the nonprofit has kept the music alive by providing more than $50 million in new musical instruments to our public schools.

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Trell Thomas at school giving an instrument delivery with A Great Big World and Sponsor Alex + Ani for VH1 Save the Music.

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Viacom Wins Big at the Cynopsis Social Good Awards

Last week, Viacom and our brands took to the Cynopsis stage again and again to accept our numerous Cynopsis Social Good Awards. The awards, presented by Cynopsis Media, recognize excellence in the area of social good in the TV and entertainment industry. Here’s the rundown of Viacom’s award-winning social good campaigns:

Best Spot (30 seconds or under) – Viacom and WITNESS

The “WITNESS The Power of Story” spot was born from our partnership with international human rights organization WITNESS, which equips people to use video to create change. The eight Viacom spots, created around our brands’ distinct initiatives, encourage viewers to share their stories to make an impact.

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