Behind-the-Scenes With Viacom Employee MTV VMA Ticket Winner

Nicole Buccheri works as a legal operations coordinator for Viacom’s corporate legal department, specializing in billing and finance. Buccheri says she likes working with numbers, and has found a niche in the company analyzing legal vendor rates and drafting cost reports for management.

In August, Buccheri switched gears and witnessed life at Viacom through a different lens, as the latest winner of Viacom’s sweepstakes that sends employees to tentpole award shows. She won two tickets to attend the pinnacle of pop culture: the MTV VMAs, held this year at Radio City Music Hall in New York City.

The 2018 MTV VMAs, captured by Viacom employee Nicole Buccheri. Photos courtesy of Nicole Buccheri.

Below, Buccheri details her exclusive experience:

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Viacom Stands Out On 2017 Year-End Lists, Owns Half of Billboard’s 10 Best Award Show Performances

Viacom wrapped 2017 with a strong showing on the flurry of industry best-of compilations assembled by top media and entertainment press.

Critics lauded Viacom’s premium content: Vice included South Park’s Put It Down episode on its list of memorable TV moments, while BET’s The Rundown With Robin Thede – which stars the only African-American host in late-night television – made Deadline’s list of top 10 new TV shows of 2017. And The Advocate praised VH1’s RuPaul’s Drag Race for its positive representation of the LGBT community, commending it with several mentions on their list of the 15 most important LGBT TV moments of 2017.

Most striking, however, is that Viacom’s culturally resonant awards shows staked out half the slots on Billboard’s 10 Best Award Show Performances of 2017: Critics’ Picks. Keep in mind that there were roughly 45 music award shows across the industry in 2017.

These poignant musical moments stood out to Billboard critics: Kendrick Lamar’s raw, rapid-fire delivery of DNA and Humble at the VMAs; the moment when Logic, Alessia Cara and Khalid sang out for suicide prevention (also at the VMAs); New Edition’s epic reunion performance at the BET Awards (a swaggering fusion of OG members and the cast of BET’s biopic, The New Edition Story), Camila Cabello’s EMA performance of Havana; and Missy Elliot’s old-school rendering of her classic banger She’s a Bitch at the VH1 Hip-Hop Honors.

Let’s take another look at these phenomenal performances. Here are Billboard’s top Viacom picks:

Kendrick Lamar, “DNA.” / “HUMBLE.” (MTV VMAs)

​Logic feat. Alessia Cara and Khalid, “1-800-273-8255” (MTV VMAs)

New Edition Medley (BET Awards)

Camila Cabello, “Havana” (MTV Europe Music Awards)

👀HAVANA👀 #mtvEMA numero 3

A post shared by camila (@camila_cabello) on

Missy Elliott, “She’s a Bitch” (VH1 Hip-Hop Honors)

There were plenty more noteworthy Viacom performances Billboard’s shortlist. My favorite acts from Viacom’s 2017 shows included Lorde’s muted modern dance at the VMAs and musical trio Hayley Kiyoko, Alex Newell, and Wrabel‘s exhilarating True Colors cover at Logo’s Trailblazer Honors during Pride Month in June.

Watch the performance:

With the upcoming launch of the Paramount Network on Jan. 18, returning hits like CMT’s Nashville and Comedy Central’s Detroiters, VH1’s latest addition to fan-favorite franchise Love & Hip Hop: Miami and a ravishing slate of upcoming live events, Viacom promises to deliver another year of eminent content and groundbreaking experiences for our fans.

P!NK Will Get the Party Started As Video Vanguard Winner for the 2017 VMAs

Michael Jackson earned his title as King of Pop for his mosaic of entertainment talent and ingenuity—especially when it came to creating iconic music videos. With Thriller, Jackson introduced cinematography into music videos, turning what used to be simple live recordings into fully-fledged short films. The 13-minute video (which I performed in a summer camp talent show as a teenager, and still remember most of the moves) was MTV’s first world premiere.

Courtesy of GIPHY.

Jackson’s musical mosaic of R&B, rock, pop, jazz and funk coupled with a repertoire of iconic dance moves made him the benchmark for artistic excellence in the entertainment industry.   The Weeknd, Beyoncé, Mariah Carey and Justin Bieber are just some of today’s most prominent stars entertainers who cite Jackson as inspiration.

The MTV Video Music Awards pay credence to this legacy with the Michael Jackson Video Vanguard Award.

The award celebrates “forerunners in the music video sphere,” according to Slate.

“MTV is legitimately the definitive arbiter on such matters. And their track record with the Vanguard has reinforced their authority: The first recipients of the award, in 1984, were the Beatles and Richard Lester, for the trailblazing A Hard Day’s Night, and David Bowie, for his groundbreaking films from the late ’60s and ’70s.”

This year, pop star P!NK will receive the honor, joining the pantheon of esteemed winners from previous years. The gutsy songstress established a close relationship with MTV and the VMAs over the course of her 17-year career.

Watch some of P!NK’s greatest VMA moments:

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Save the Date for the 2017 MTV Video Music Awards: Live From Los Angeles On Saturday, August 27

Dust off your spacesuits and queue your favorite “New & Noteworthy” YouTube playlist, because the VMAs are swiftly approaching.

After transforming Madison Square Garden into a terrestrial dance hall, aerobics studio and lemonade stand for last year’s ceremony, MTV is heading back to California—specifically the Forum, a historic venue in Inglewood.

“MTV, at 35 years old, has been around almost as long as the Forum,” said Forum manager Shelli Azoff in a press release. “Together, we’re 85 and enjoy lifetimes of music history.”

The Forum—sometimes called the “Fabulous” Forum—is the nation’s largest indoor performance venue, hosting sporting events and musical extravaganzas, including the 2014 VMA telecast.

MTV lands in Los Angeles for the 2014 VMAs. (Photo courtesy of Getty Images)

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2016 MTV VMAs: The Multi-Platform Juggernaut Smashing Our Video Records

by Stuart Winchester, Viacom

There really isn’t anything else to add to the graphic below, other than “wow.” The MTV VMAs, a decades-long cultural mainstay, continue to evolve in startling ways that flood the matrix of digital and social channels where our fans live. Get the details below, the highlights (Beyoncé, Kanye, Rihanna, Drake and more) here, and the full show here.

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MTV Slays at the Cannes Lions Festival: Let’s Hear a Roar of Applause

Every year in June, hundreds of creative agencies, tech companies and media powerhouses converge in the South of France for The Cannes Lions International Festival of Creativity. It’s a celebration of the year’s boldest ad campaigns; a chance to attend seminars with industry experts and drink champagne on yachts along the French Riviera.

The most visionary companies leave with the coveted Cannes Lyon Award—essentially the Oscar trophy of the advertising world.

You might remember 2015’s trippy, GIF-inspired VMA green-screen. The creative encouraged fans to download photos of their favorite VMA artists, such as Miley Cyrus, and customize them with fan art, emojis, and flying tacos.

Now the psychedelic promo has won a Cannes Gold Lion.

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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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A Whole Lot to Like About Viacom’s Fourth Quarter and Year-End Earnings

by Stuart Winchester, Viacom

When Viacom released earnings for the fourth quarter and full year of 2015 earlier this week, there was a whole lot to like. Those of you who are interested in the dollars and cents of it can read the full press release here, which provides year-to-year comparisons and a more minute breakdown of the numbers.

But what’s behind the dollar signs? Content. Really good content – the kind of stuff that deeply engages fans, weaving its way into the fabric of their lives. We’re talking about Nickelodeon’s new hit, Game Shakers, which is the number one live-action show for kids 2-11 and has inspired 3 million downloads of its Sky Whale game. Or Comedy Central’s The Daily Show with Trevor Noah, which has seen its 18-24 audience skyrocket since the new host claimed the desk in September. Or MTV’s iconic Video Music Awards piling up a massive 21.4 million tweets – a record for an entertainment program.

There’s plenty more. Great stuff is pouring out of all of our brands, from VH1 to Paramount to BET to MTV’s European Music Awards, and we continue to expand, with Viacom’s International operations launching 21 channels over the past year. Scroll through the slides below to see the headlines, and check out our full investor newsletter here to see the top-rated shows by each of our networks and more.

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An MTV Intern’s Magic Red Carpet Ride Reveals Celebs’ Charity Interests

For the second year in a row, Viacom’s social impact umbrella, Viacommunity, held a company-wide intern contest with College Relations to choose the Viacommunity correspondent at the 2015 MTV VMAs. Interns from across the company sent in impressive video submissions to Viacommunity telling us why they deserved to be this year’s correspondent and the importance of talking with celebs about social causes.

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