So let’s reflect on his legacy.
— Special K (@aye_itskirsten) January 2, 2017
— Special K (@aye_itskirsten) January 2, 2017
Nickelodeon finished up 2016 strong on Sunday, Nov. 27 as The show was full of stunning performances by stars like Jason Derulo, heartfelt collaborations between artists such as Jake Miller and Jacob Whitesides, and one purple Mohawk—courtesy of host Nick Cannon.
But the biggest stars of the night were the honorees, four teens who embody the spirit of HALO (Helping And Leading Others).
The holiday festivities began early for Viacom employee Jim Chrisman, a manager in our financial reporting group. Chrisman got to treat his wife to a once-in-a-lifetime seasonal surprise when he won tickets to VH1’s Divas Holiday: Unsilent Night, courtesy of Employee Events and Programs’ employee sweepstakes. The couple enjoyed special live performances by Mariah Carey, JoJo, Bebe Rexha, Teyana Taylor, Vanessa Williams, Patti LaBelle, Chaka Khan, and more. Below, Chrisman tells us a bit about how Viacom and VH1 made this holiday season particularly magical.
On Nov. 8, 2016, Viacom employees got the chance to open their eyes to the most important issues of this election season—through an incandescent virtual reality (VR) art show at Viacom Headquarters.
MTV’s Elect This campaign promised its audience substance over scandal. It succeeded in highlighting issues that matter most to their millennial audience such as climate change, social justice, national security, immigration, and health care— in a stunning marriage of innovation and artistry.
When you work at Viacom, it’s good to be camera-ready. On Monday, Dec. 12, the lobby at Viacom Headquarters transformed into a fashion show featuring our own employees as models.
As President Obama’s second term in office winds down, the appreciations and stock-taking of his legacy have been multiplying. One of the most recent was from our own BET, who saluted the 44th president with BET Presents Love & Happiness: An Obama Celebration last month.
The president will return to our airwaves next week, when he appears on The Daily Show with Trevor Noah. The show, which Noah will tape at the White House will air not only on Comedy Central, but also on MTV and BET. It will be Obama’s eighth appearance on The Daily Show, and his first since Noah began hosting last September.
It’s little surprise that the president would make Noah’s show part of his farewell tour, as the host has been surging behind critical praise during and after the recent election season, with large increases in ratings and digital traffic.
What will Obama and Noah discuss on Monday? Hard to say. But you can check out an extended version of the POTUS’ more memorable past appearances below:
Cablefax recently laid out their annual tally of 100 Overachievers Under 30, and four Viacom employees made the list. This is a diverse and capable group. They line up social talent for marketing campaigns. They manage sprawling networks of digital and social channels. They coordinate programming strategies across linear and digital channels. They create custom co-branded campaigns for partners and networks.
And they are just getting started.
While they work across many of our networks and divisions – Epix, CMT, TV Land, and our Velocity in-house agency are all represented – a common thread of their workday seems to be the freedom to pursue creative solutions to novel challenges.
“I love the variety of campaigns I get to work on and the creative freedom I have to make each of them unique,” says Julie Feinerman, social media manager at Epix.
Each of the honorees was “excited,” “surprised,” “thrilled,” or “honored” to make the list, while pointing to the guidance of role models who helped them develop the work ethic and grit to achieve career success.
“My first boss at MTV, Jessica Zalkind, continues to be a mentor and #ladyboss that I admire,” says Lauren Elias, a social talent coordinator for Viacom Velocity. “She taught me that hard work, and going beyond just getting the job done are keys to success.”
In addition to Feinerman and Zalkind, CMT’s Kate Warburton and Velocity’s Brian O’Toole also represent Viacom on the annual Cablefax list. They will be honored at a reception later this month. Scroll down to learn a bit more about each of these Viacom standouts.
Young Viacom talent frequently makes these industry lists, with several, including Elias, making Cynopsis’ Rising Stars roster earlier this year. Cablefax frequently mines the company’s deep talent pool when it sorts out the best in the industry, including its recent lists of top minorities and most powerful women in cable.
LAUREN ELIAS, SOCIAL TALENT COORDINATOR, VIACOM VELOCITY
What she does: Discovers, casts, and manages social talent for Velocity projects, integrated marketing campaigns, and more
What she loves most about her job at Viacom: I love discovering new talent that our brand partners and network executive are excited about.
Her reaction when she found out she was named as a Cablefax Overachiever: I was super excited. It was all the more reason to continue working hard toward my career goals.
What she is most looking forward to about the networking reception on Dec. 14: Meeting like-minded colleagues who feel proud about their work.
Can you point to a mentor or role model who helped you achieve success so young? My first boss at MTV, Jessica Zalkind, who continues to be a mentor and #ladyboss that I admire.
What specific advice did they give you that stuck with you? She taught me that hard work, and going beyond just “getting the job done” are keys to success. I also have to thank my current boss, Tom DeNapoli, who always supports me, always trusts me, always champions me, and always teaches me.
In the fall of 2010, Viacom’s Office of Global Inclusion started a new tradition—a holiday party that would bring employees together to celebrate the season of giving, by giving back to those in need.
Give Back & Get Down (GBGD) is the brainchild of Nickelodeon Digital Publishing Executive Assistant Tara Shaw and BET News Production Manager Renee Jackson, leaders of the BEAT (our employee resource group focused on the African-American experience).
The inaugural celebration supported two vital causes.
City Harvest, the only food rescue program in New York City, collects excess food from restaurants and grocery stores—fresh, nutritious food that would otherwise be thrown out. Volunteers deliver this food to homeless shelters, soup kitchens, day cares and senior centers throughout the five boroughs.
Pajama Program, a national nonprofit, helps underprivileged children have a good night’s sleep. Cozy pajamas and bedtime story books are brought to kids in foster care or temporary shelters
Employees brought donations of pajamas and food to the party. While OGI members collected these items, Grammy-winning artist Miguel performed.
Seven years later, GBGD is our annual giving celebration. It embraces the Viacommunity spirit of making a positive social impact in areas where we work and live, and gives employees at premier entertainment brands the chance to let loose and celebrate a year of hard work.
This year, we’ve partnered with Safe Horizons and Sanctuary for Families to support families and individuals impacted by domestic violence. GBGD VII is rapidly approaching, and donation boxes in our New York offices are filling up with toiletries.
Check back for a recap of GBGD VII on Dec. 7.
OGI Assistant Sarah Lee contributed to this article.
Our nation is, without a doubt, in the midst of an addiction epidemic.
Nearly 21 million Americans are addicted to drugs or alcohol, making substance abuse as common as diabetes, and more prevalent than cancer. Drug overdoses killed more people in 2013 than car accidents and guns, and an alarming 1 in 7 people in the U.S. are now expected to develop a substance use disorder at some point in their lives.
So how do we turn the tide against this crisis?
It starts with getting rid of people’s long-held misconceptions. For many, that means removing the shame synonymous with substance abuse.
U.S. Surgeon General Vivek H. Murthy, who today released the first-ever Surgeon General report on alcohol, drugs, and health, sums up the challenge this way: “We need to change the way we see addiction – not as a moral failing but as a chronic illness that we should approach with the same determination as we do diabetes, hearth disease, and cancer.”
This issue has touched the lives of tens of millions of Americans across the country. It’s the impetus behind MTV’s powerful documentary on opioid addiction, Prescription For Change: Ending America’s Opioid Crisis.
And it’s why Viacom announced yesterday the launch of “LISTEN” an awareness campaign in partnership with non-profit Facing Addiction to break down the stigma of addiction, promote resources to help those struggling with substance use, and encourage people to approach America’s addiction crisis with empathy, not condemnation. As informed citizens, actively listening to others impacted by this disease is the first step toward progress.
Growing up, sitcoms were my main hub of comedy. I would watch shows like Everybody Loves Raymond with my Korean-American parents, who were trying to entertain themselves while expanding their English skills.
When I started working as a Viacom intern in the spring of 2016, I was exposed to a different type of comedy – political satire in the form of a mock newsroom. I had the opportunity to watch a live taping of The Daily Show With Trevor Noah. This experience taught me how diverse comedy could be. Noah is mixed-race and born in South Africa, yet he’s hosting a satirical talk show on a major cable network about American politics.