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"My attitude is, the only way we’re going to break music is by using three platforms—MTV, MTV2 and MTV.com."
PUTTING THE "T" IN MTV
MTV Sr. VP Programming & Talent Tom Calderone Tells Us We Turn Him Off
MTV Sr. VP Programming & Talent Tom Calderone is a child of radio. Growing up in New York listening to local stations like WABC and WMCA, his initial exposure to the music business came at a time when bands like the Ramones, Talking Heads and Blondie ruled the airwaves. It’s no wonder that Calderone would go on to become a pioneer of the Post Modern format long before the "PoMo" word was first coined in our misbegotten rag.

These days, MTV is all about convergence and Calderone is key in branding the MTV name across various media, with at least 90 degrees of MTV’s vaunted "360" philosophy in his hands, including an important role in MTV’s recent 20th birthday bash and next month’s "Video Music Awards," among others.

For the full interview, click the red "doubletalk" button above, or be really lazy and click here.

On the difference between radio and MTV when it comes to breaking an artist:
When it comes to explicitly pop music, that’s where we need radio. I don’t think we could break pop bands alone on MTV because people need to hear the song before they become passionate about the artist. There are the big four—Backstreet Boys, NSYNC, Britney and Christina—that are pretty much a one-way, express train to the top. But there are others who need that nurturing before they ever get to MTV. Pop is a radio story first, but we take it and break it wide-open—that’s our job.

On taking advantage of Viacom’s CBS/Infinity radio properties:
We’d been working together even before the merger. Infinity has always had great radio properties, so we were doing events with them and concert coverage. This year, we tried to cover all the really big alternative festivals. We were at both the WXRK Dysfunctional Family Picnic in New York and the KROQ Weenie Roast festival in L.A. We’re working with other radio properties as well, and this year we’ve had some really good cross-promotions. We even took some local DJs and put them on the air. MTV360 and the convergence philosophy is a big buzz word around the Viacom camp. My attitude is, the only way we’re going to break music is by using three platforms—MTV, MTV2 and MTV.com.

On specialized programming and what the channel is planning in the coming months:
"Making The Video" has turned into a great franchise for the channel and so we’re spinning the concept off into a new show, "Making The Tour." We’re also producing a show called "Road Home" where the viewer gets to visit an artist’s hometown with the artist. We’re also really excited about upcoming MTVicon events. The Janet Jackson tribute was a fun event and a real musical night. We’re hoping to try it again next year. MTV2 is bringing back "Unplugged" with an eclectic line-up of artists, including R.E.M., Staind and Lauryn Hill. We’re really excited to bring that franchise back. And, of course, there’s the 20th anniversary, the VMAs and another New Year’s extravaganza.

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