2012 Goodyear Award
Fellow staffers, his professors and listeners knew Tom Calderone was a rising star during his time at Buffalo State’s WBNY in the early 1980s. He used his WBNY experience as a launching pad to a prestigious career that has taken him to the very top of cable TV’s VH1. Calderone has served as VH1 president since 2008 and is this year’s recipient of the Buffalo Broadcasters Association’s Goodyear Award.
Calderone was named one of the top 50 most influential executives shaping the future of media by Mediaweek in 2007. As president, he is responsible for the overall strategy and management of VH1. He previously served as executive vice president and general manager. Calderone serves as chairman of the VH1 Save the Music Foundation, which has donated $45 million worth of new music instruments to music education programs in public schools.
Calderone first joined the MTV Networks, parent company of VH1, in 1998 as senior vice president of music and talent programming at MTV. He created new music initiatives and managed artist relations and communication with the music industry. Calderone oversaw the development of such breakthrough music franchises as Spankin New Music and MTV Ultimate Mash-Ups. He also worked on the production of top-rated television events including the MTV Video Music Awards and MTV Movie Awards and such successful franchises as Unplugged.
Before joining MTV, Calderone was a consultant with Jacobs Media where he advised radio stations across the country on music, talent and marketing strategies.
In Buffalo, Calderone is best remembered for his time at WBNY. As program director, he put in place the alternative/progressive format that still stands today. Calderone maintains close ties with Buffalo State, helping with internships for students. He frequently visits campus to talk with students and alumni groups. In 2008, he received an honorary doctorate of human letters from his alma mater.
The Goodyear Award is named in honor of George Goodyear, the Buffalo philanthropist who co-founded WGR-TV, and is awarded each year to those in broadcasting’s front office who have made a career of advancing the ideals of the Buffalo Broadcasters.