Where do international studies and Spanish fluency lead? For Anne Pomeroy ’07, to a producer’s post at VH1.com.
Her job at the music channel VH1 takes Anne Pomeroy ’07 back to her roots. As associate producer of shows and events for VH1.com, she works with shows she watched as a kid. “I remember watching VH1 and [its sister station] MTV as a young teenager,” Pomeroy said. “My parents wouldn’t let me watch everything, but I especially enjoyed Behind the Music and VH1 Divas.”
Those are just two of the programs from which she provides content for the channel’s online arm. She’s involved in the management, editing, and design of VH1’s online pages and occasionally conducts brief interviews with artists such as rapper T.I., soul and R&B singer/songwriter Emeli Sande, and English singer/songwriter Ed Sheeran.
Despite brushes with fame, most of her interactions are with VH1 associates. “In digital production, you are a cog in the wheel, a point of contact for everybody else,” she said. “You’re working with on-air production, editorial, promotions, press, social media, and design to make sure our shows have life online.”
Since its launch in 1985, VH1—like MTV—has evolved from playing music videos to more news and reality-show programming. But Pomeroy’s web responsibilities focus on music-related shows such as Rock Doc, You Oughta Know, The Metal Show, Big Morning Buzz, and The Coffee Table. “I like reality television, but really enjoy working on the music side,” she said, “because sometimes someone whose music I knew growing up will appear on one of the shows.”
One of her favorite projects is the O Music Awards, streamed live as a twenty-four-hour music festival honoring artists who make a significant impact online. “Putting that show together is a lot of work, but so much fun and gratifying,” she said. “It is entirely online, there is no on-air component.” Part of the fun is the festival’s annual attempt to set a Guinness World Record. In 2012, the Flaming Lips set a record for most concerts (eight) played in twenty-four hours in different cities, and Andrew W.K. this year set a record for longest drum session (twenty-four hours) in a retail store.
Pomeroy traveled a circuitous route to a career in web production. After graduating from Kenyon with a dual degree in international studies and Spanish, she earned an M.A. in magazine, newspaper, and online journalism from the S.I. Newhouse School of Public Communications at Syracuse University, where her interest in online production began to take shape.
“The program encouraged multimedia projects,” she said. “I put together short videos, got involved a little in social media, and took a web design course. I thought I was going to be a writer or reporter. I never thought about the online world before, but discovered that was where my interest lay.”
After serving an internship in news reporting at the Utica Observer-Dispatch in Utica, New York, and working as a legislative assistant in the New York State Senate, she decided to put her newly acquired online expertise to use and applied for a job as a production assistant for MTV.com in 2011. “I gave it a shot and within a day or two they contacted me for an interview. I like pop culture and the web aspects of production and thought this was a job that melded those interests.”
The liberal arts at Kenyon were ideal for Pomeroy, who blended interests in English, history, Spanish, and Latin America with an international studies major. She found the major’s study-abroad requirement to be especially appealing. She spent semesters in Argentina and Mexico, studying Latin American history, culture, and literature while sharpening her Spanish language skills.
The experience prepared her for whatever an uncertain future held. “It gave me the confidence to go anywhere and do anything,” she said.
From MTV.com, she moved to the VH1 side, where she was promoted to associate producer in February. It was perhaps an unlikely landing for an international studies major fluent in Spanish.
“I was one of those people who didn’t have any idea what I was going to do or where I was going to end up. I think my Kenyon education made me ready for a lot of possibilities.”