Viacom Wins Eight Cynopsis Social Good Awards, Including Impact Honors for Its LISTEN Addiction Initiative

by Stuart Winchester, Viacom

Anchored by its stigma-crushing LISTEN addiction initiative, Viacom brands underscored the companywide commitment to social responsibility by earning seven honors at the Cynopsis Social Good Awards ceremony in New York City this morning.

LISTEN, which earned the Impact Campaign distinction, is a multi-dimensional campaign grounded in the belief that compassion and awareness are central elements to fighting the scourge of addiction. A partnership with Facing Addiction, LISTEN unites addiction-fighting resources with transformational video stories of individuals who have fought from nearly hopeless circumstances to become inspirations for those still struggling to find sobriety.

This video is just one in a series posted on heretolisten.com. A LISTEN special that aired across 11 Viacom networks has been viewed more than 2 million times and drove 38.1 million social impressions and more than 56,000 engagements across Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.

Debi Mazar, one of the stars of TV Land’s hit Younger, appeared alongside Niels Schuurmans, executive vice president of Viacom Velocity, to accept the award on the company’s behalf.

“I am so proud to see Viacom mobilize the voice and reach of its channels to take action in breaking down the shame and stigma around addiction and address it for what it is – a health issue,” Mazar said. “Media has the power to change hearts and minds. And LISTEN is doing that one story and conversation at a time.”

LISTEN also took top honors in the Branded Campaign for a TV Series or Special Programming category.

Logo earned a pair of honors. The network’s stirring Trailblazer Honors ceremony served as a tribute to victims of the Orlando nightclub massacre and took the Philanthropic/Human Rights Campaign category, while its Fill in the Blank push around Pride Month earned best Branded Campaign for a Digital or Mobile Platform.

BET Networks also took two categories. Its HBCU (historically black colleges and universities) Snapchat tour earned best Digital Media Campaign:


While the network’s understated Vote Your Voice spots earned top Hash Tag Promotion:

Viacom International Media Networks earned the last two honor, in the Public Service Announcement and Best Spot (30 Seconds or Less) categories, both for Nickelodeon’s Together for Good collaboration with UNICEF, which works to protect disadvantaged children around the world.

In addition to the Impact Award, Viacom received 44 total nominations across 21 categories and an impressive array of brands, including Nick Jr., Spike, Viacom International Media Networks, MTV, VH1, and our Viacom Velocity in-house agency.

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BET Sends Obama Family Out with a Flourish

With a flourish of pride and patriotism, BET celebrated Barack Obama’s eight-year run as president with an emotional send-off on his last day in office. Through the Fire: The Legacy of Barack Obama followed a month-long series of BET documentaries and specials honoring the first couple and their many achievements.

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Trevor Noah to Visit Barack Obama in The White House for Daily Show Interview

by Stuart Winchester, Viacom

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 NoahThe 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:

“That’s What American Music Is All About” – Obama, BET Host Celebrity-Fueled White House Celebration

by Stuart Winchester, Viacom

BET loves President Obama. It’s not hard to see why. For eight years, the president has worked deliberately to help those who had long been overlooked, overseeing the legalization of same-sex marriage, overall economic expansion, the re-establishment of diplomatic relations with Cuba, and more.

To emphasize the point, the net recently put together this list of seven things they most appreciate about the soon-to-be-former president’s work:

The president has taken time to speak directly to BET viewers, most memorably in the wake of the killing of Michael Brown and other unarmed black men by police across the country, when he sat down with BET News’ Jeff Johnson to discuss the importance of peaceful protest to the health and evolution of our nation. Click the image below to watch the full interview:

obama-with-jeff-johnson

As much as Obama has driven change in national policy and added gravity to essential conversations on race and justice, he has also committed considerable energy to emphasizing the importance that sports and the arts play in American culture. Never has his dedication to the musical arts been more apparent than with BET’s farewell flourish to the president, BET Presents Love & Happiness: An Obama Celebration, which will air on Tuesday, Nov. 15 at 9 p.m. ET.

The event, which the network hosted at the White House in October, features performances by Usher, Common, Janelle Monae, Leslie Odom Jr., The Roots, De La Soul, Jill Scott, Yolanda Adams, Bell Biv DeVoe, Michelle Williams and Kiki Sheard. Samuel L. Jackson, Angela Bassett, Bradley Cooper and Jesse Williams attended, reminiscing about Obama’s legacy.

Obama, whose reputation for comedic timing is legendary, seized a moment to re-dub the event “Barack Obama’s Block Party”:

Obama’s Block Party from Viacom on Vimeo.

This is one of a series of musical evenings the Obamas have hosted over their eight years in the White House, which have featured performers as diverse as Bob Dylan and Jennifer Hudson, carrying on a tradition of performance that stretches back to the administration of John Adams in 1801. Obama underscored the importance of elevating the country’s rich musical heritage to such a prominent stage in the nation’s capital.

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Right Around the Bend: See What Our Brands Offer for the Final Days of Election Coverage

It’s time.

While you wait in line to cast your vote, check out what MTV, BET, and Comedy Central are doing to represent their diverse audiences with unique media coverage of one of the most memorable elections in U.S. History.
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Macklemore Enlists President Obama to Discuss Opioid Epidemic in MTV Docs’ Debut Offering

by Stuart Winchester, Viacom

More people died of drug overdoses in the United States last year than in car crashes.

How big of a deal is that? An estimated 38,300 people died in auto accidents, so the scale of the drug deaths is almost unimaginable.

Tonight, MTV bores into this explosion in drug deaths, a spike largely attributable to an eruption of opioid use, with Prescription For Change: Ending America’s Opioid Crisis, a one-hour documentary hosted by Grammy Award-winning artist Macklemore, himself a recovering addict.

This powerful documentary, the first from MTV’s new Docs division, is an incisive exploration of the opioid epidemic that is gutting American communities. The doc not only explores the scope and trauma of the rampage, but takes a frank look at why what is certainly not the country’s first drug abuse problem is getting so much more sympathetic attention than past scourges. The meat of this is explored in a candid conversation between Macklemore and President Obama:

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Living Viacommunity: From Obama to Jamaica to Prospect Park, Tamara Hood’s Priority Is Community

by Stuart Winchester, Viacom
Tamara in Brooklyn
Tamara in Brooklyn
Stuart Stuart

Hood cleaning up Prospect Park at Viacommunity Day 2015. Read More

Tamara in Jamaica
Tamara in Jamaica
Stuart Stuart

Hood cleaning up Prospect Park at Viacommunity Day 2015. Read More

The Jamaica Summer Camp Kids
The Jamaica Summer Camp Kids
Stuart Stuart

The kids get moving at summer camp in Jamaica. Read More

A-ObamaandT
A-ObamaandT
Stuart Stuart

Hood is a founder of Brooklyn for Barack, which helped galvanize public support for President Obama'… Read More

Sister2Sister
Sister2Sister
Stuart Stuart

Hood runs the Sister2Sister high school girls summit each year. Read More

Viacom employee Tamara Hood spends more than two weeks in Jamaica every summer. But instead of touching down at Montego Bay and beelining via shuttle bus to a Negril resort like the majority of visitors, she heads up into the Blue Mountains.

There, instead of all-you-can-eat gluttony and air-conditioned sea-view suites, electricity is spotty and cell service and hot water are often non-existent. The place is spectacularly beautiful, but that’s a bonus – she isn’t there for vacation. Hood is there to work. For free. For a children’s summer camp, where she acts as director of operations.

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Dr. Jill Biden Praises CMT Academy in Visit

by Stuart Winchester, Viacom
From left to right: Lucia Folk, VP, Public Affairs, CMT; Randy Boyd, commissioner of Tennessee Department of Economic and Community Development; Bill Haslam, governor of Tennessee; Tim Mitchell, undersecretary of education, U.S. Department of Education; Elijah Rawlings, student, CMT Academy of Digital Design & Communication, McGavock High School; Dr. Jill Biden, second lady of the United States; Tiana Wakefield-Shaw, student, CMT Academy of Digital Design & Communication, McGavock High School; Megan Barry, mayor of Nashville; Robbin Wall, executive principal, McGavock High School.

From left to right: Lucia Folk, VP, Public Affairs, CMT; Randy Boyd, commissioner of Tennessee Department of Economic and Community Development; Bill Haslam, governor of Tennessee; Tim Mitchell, undersecretary of education, U.S. Department of Education; Elijah Rawlings, student, CMT Academy of Digital Design & Communication, McGavock High School; Dr. Jill Biden, second lady of the United States; Tiana Wakefield-Shaw, student, CMT Academy of Digital Design & Communication, McGavock High School; Megan Barry, mayor of Nashville; Robbin Wall, executive principal, McGavock High School.

Since 2010, CMT has been bringing the big time to McGavock High School in its Nashville hometown. Community leaders have stopped by. The net has formed the CMT Academy, part of a city-wide school improvement effort praised by President Obama. Students have learned broadcasting and production skills directly from the pros-turned-mentors who deliver CMT’s hit shows.
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NBA Players Team Up with BET to Pick Their Faves

The NBA may be in its offseason, but the league’s players never stop moving. Last month, BET partnered with the NBA Players’ Association to host the first-ever Players’ Awards at the Rio Las Vegas Hotel and Casino, where NBA players unveiled their picks for Most Valuable Player, Best Rookie, Best Defender and more. Two-time NBA champion Ray Allen described the event as the only show “for us and by us.” Read More

Comedy Central’s Presidential Anger Translator “Luther” Makes Surprise Correspondents Dinner Appearance

The president's translator, Luther (L), as portrayed by comedian Keegan-Michael Key, gestures as President Barack Obama speaks at the annual White House Correspondent's Association Gala at the Washington Hilton hotel April 25, 2015 in Washington, D.C. (Photo by Olivier Douliery-Pool/Getty Images)

The president’s translator, Luther (L), as portrayed by comedian Keegan-Michael Key, gestures as President Barack Obama speaks at the annual White House Correspondent’s Association Gala at the Washington Hilton hotel April 25, 2015 in Washington, D.C. (Photo by Olivier Douliery-Pool/Getty Images)

The annual White House Correspondents Dinner is an occasion for the president to poke fun at the Washington political establishment and a chance for politicians and the journalists who cover them to laugh at themselves and at each other.

During Saturday’s dinner, President Obama called in some extra firepower to assist in his annual roast of political power players. Referring to himself a “mellow sort of guy,” the president welcomed “Luther, his Anger Translator” to the stage.

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