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President of VH1 speaks at Buffalo State

Filed under: Uncategorized

Ashanti and Tom Calderone at the 2009 Hip Hop Honors

As a student of journalism at Buffalo State I can say that it is a pretty competitive field to work in and it rarely pays off big. And when I say rarely I mean the number of journalists making six figures in this region can probably be counted on one hand. So it was pretty exciting yesterday when I got a chance to meet Tom Calderone, a graduate of Buffalo State with a degree in journalism who has been the president of VH1 since 2005. When it comes to Buffalo State alumni, Calderone is the golden child. He’s actually a topic of study in a some classes.

Although he’s kind of a big deal now, Calderone hasn’t forgotten about where he learned his trade. He stops by the college once or twice a year to give a lecture and answer questions from students. Yesterday he gave advice about breaking into the music business industry and talked about how he got his feet off the ground after college.

“My first job was with WGR AM and I thought I was going to be a lifer there,” Calderone said. “Television was never even on my radar, it kind of just happened, and a lot of times in this business thats how it works.”

He also talked about the work he has done at VH1, which recently included green lighting The T.O. Show (Although at the time nobody knew T.O. would coincidentally end up in Buffalo). He also spilled the beans about a second season, which will be totally meaningless to Buffalonians in a few weeks but thats a topic for a whole different blog…

After the Q&A session ended he stepped to the side of the podium and patiently waited while  the entire room full of students lined up to shake his hand, ask him a question and take down his personal contact information. Calderone is known around campus for going out of his way to help students find internships and jobs in music and communications. His business card is now safely tucked into a pocket in my wallet right next to my social security card.

cory perla


  • Larry

    Who keeps their social security card in their wallet. Otherwise, I liked the article. It was short, to the point and a bit whimsical. I especially liked the part where you said he was sort of a big deal.