“London is arguably the world’s musical epicenter and it’s both a huge privilege and opportunity to bring the MTV EMAs 2017 to the U.K.’s capital city,” said David Lynn, the newly installed CEO of Viacom International Media Networks, who is based in London. “The EMA creates an incredible buzz wherever it lands it; that will be amplified tenfold in London.”
The city last hosted the EMAs in 1996, before the event moved on to other UK venues, including Edinburgh (2003), Liverpool (2008), Belfast (2011) and Glasgow (2014). It looks as though the city is happy to have us back (or at least the mayor is):
MTV’s iconic, unruly annual spring break coverage was a cultural phenomenon. I remember watching MTV Spring Break in 2004. I was 12 and spring break meant a family trip to Florida, but still. I was hooked on MTV’s coverage of Jessica Simpson, Jersey Shore stars, spray tans, cargo pants paired with bikini tops, and overall decadence on the shores of Cancun.
But just like culture has evolved since the early 2000s, MTV’s raucous coverage of spring break has gotten progressively wilder…and weirder.
Viacom will marshal its resources around six flagship networks: MTV, BET, Nickelodeon, Nick Jr., Comedy Central, and Spike, which will be rebranded next year as a premium Paramount channel. Paramount Pictures will not be going anywhere; in fact, the flagship networks will join forces with the iconic studio to produce one or two co-branded films every single year. The company still claims the highest viewership of any cable family in the United States.
These were among the core messages that our CEO, Bob Bakish, delivered to David Farber on CNBC’s Squawk on the Street following release of the company’s first quarter 2017 earnings yesterday. Watch the full conversation above, and click over to Viacom Investor Relations to read the press release or listen to the earnings call.
New Edition exploded out of anonymity from the Orchard Park Projects in Roxbury, Massachusetts in the early 1980s, selling millions of albums as the stamped the template for the boy band super-groups of the ‘90s and beyond. At one time, they were bigger than Beat It, when their 1983 debut track Candy Girlbeat out one of Michael Jackson’s signature hits for the top spot on the Billboard chart. In the meteoric and fraught years that followed, they would break up and reunite while spawning the solo careers of Bobby Brown, Ralph Tresvant and Johnny Gill, along with the quadruple platinum collaboration of Bell Biv DeVoe.
The tale resonated in part due to its raw, unfiltered nature, delivering the uncensored drama of the exhilarating climb to success, the infighting that led to break-ups and reunions, the wild back-stage mingling amid groupies and substances, and the financial collapses that defied their spotlight. This scene depicting the group members’ mothers’ rage at receiving a check for $1.87 after a sprawling and highly successful tour is typical:
“Normally biopics are padded with dramatic falsehoods for entertainment,” wrote Billboard’s Niki McGloster, “but as the executive producers of the film, New Edition kept the story true to how they lived it.”
Viacom’s new West Coast headquarters opened last night in a raucous cascade of music and optimism, uniting the creative forces of eight major brands in a soaring, aspirational space at the heart of Hollywood.
“This new Hollywood facility reinforces our presence in the world’s entertainment capital, connecting us more deeply with the creative community and bringing inspiration for our employees, who help us deliver world-class entertainment and unforgettable stories to our audiences every day,” said Viacom President and CEO Bob Bakish. “We wanted to create a space that encourages collaboration, creativity and innovation, and gives creators and employees the tools they need to do their best work.”
According to our Google Analytics stats, it’s innovative marketing, brilliant shows and movies, political coverage, LGBT initiatives, A$AP Rocky, tacos, and Mediterranean music festivals.
2016 was monumental for Viacom, along with the rest of the world. We witnessed one of the most tectonic presidential elections in history. The way we consume media continued to evolve with advanced streaming services and virtual reality engagement. We lost beloved celebrities such as Prince and David Bowie, and sadly, many more. But we saw others rise to stardom, like Rita Ora, who now hosts VH1’s America’s Next Top Model, and Bebe Rhexa, who hosted the 2016 EMAs.
This list is by no means comprehensive of what Viacom accomplished in 2016—that would require far more than 16 posts to cover. But we’ve gathered those that made the largest impact, according what you, our readers, have clicked on the most.
Jules (Eliza Bennett) and Ophelia (Taylor Dearden) are the superheroes you wish you knew in college. Photo courtesy of MTV.
Imagine a picturesque college campus, complete with stately sorority houses and a lush quad. One of these sororities is home to Jules (Eliza Bennett), a timid blonde with a penchant for pearls. Ophelia (Taylor Dearden) is a green-haired, computer-hacking anarchist who works at a record store and sells pot. These girls exist in opposite realms of their university’s social strata, yet bond over a furtive mission.
Unlikely duos, college shenanigans, and secrets: All elements of a classic, coming-of-age dramedy. But MTV’s latest series Sweet/Vicious defies labels or tropes. Ophelia may be an anarchist drug dealer, but she’s also the campus tutor. Jules exudes school spirit and good behavior, yet moonlights as a vigilante. Like the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles keep New York City safe from Shredder and his evil cronies, Ophelia and Jules band together to keep their fellow students safe from villains—specifically campus rapists.
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.
One of the VR works presented on Nov. 8 2016 about gender equality. Photo courtesy of MTV Elect This and Gumshoe
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.