MTV AND CNN TEAM UP FOR SPECIAL CONCERT AND PROGRAMMING TO SUPPORT VETERANS
Artists and Celebrities from 50 Cent to Kid Rock to Beyonc� Join Forces For "A Night for Vets: An MTV Concert for the BRAVE" to Support U.S. Veterans of the Iraq and Afghanistan Wars
MTV Launches Bill of Rights for American Veterans (BRAVE) Petition; CNN to Air "Anderson Cooper 360: Back from the Battle" Special
New York, NY (October 15, 2008) � MTV's Choose or Lose campaign and CNN Worldwide today announced they've teamed up to host a cross-network television event that includes a concert to mobilize support for our country's newest generation of young veterans and news programming on both MTV and CNN highlighting young veterans' stories of triumph, as well as issues facing those veterans as they return from battle.
Leading artists from multiple genres will take-part in "A Night for Vets: An MTV Concert for the BRAVE," taped in New York City on October 23 and airing on MTV on October 24, to raise awareness of veterans' causes, including employment, healthcare, homelessness, and education. CNN will air "Anderson Cooper 360: Back from the Battle," a special that delves into the stories of several young vets and the challenges facing them, on October 25 and October 26 at 8 p.m. ET. Additionally, MTV today announced the Bill of Rights for American Veterans (BRAVE), a petition created in partnership with a group of top non-partisan veterans' organizations calling on elected officials to support veterans' issues and swiftly enact positive legislative changes.
"A Night for Vets: An MTV Concert for the BRAVE" will air Friday, October 24, 2008, at 8pm ET on MTV, followed by airings on MTV2, mtvU and MTV Tr3s. The special, hosted by MTV News Correspondent Sway Calloway and taped before an audience of specially invited young veterans and their families, will feature live performances by artists including 50 Cent, Ludacris and Saving Abel and taped performances from Kanye West, Kid Rock, Angels + Airwaves, Fall Out Boy, Juanes, Nelly and Taylor Swift, performing songs dedicated to our nation's veterans.
Beyonc�, Will Ferrell, Cameron Diaz, Common, Fat Joe, Seth Green, Elizabeth Banks, Jennifer Hudson, John Legend, James Marsden and Wyclef Jean will make taped appearances throughout the concert to show their support for our nation's young heroes. The special will also include an interview with CNN international correspondent Michael Ware, via satellite from Baghdad. MTV News and CNN news packages, introduced by CNN's Anderson Cooper, will air throughout the show. Headline News' anchor Robin Meade (Morning Express with Robin Meade) will conduct interviews with young veterans in the audience. Additionally, the show will screen online in the MTV Virtual World. Viewers will be able to watch the concert in full and interact with some of the artists participating in the show.
"It doesn't matter where you stand on the war - we can all agree that young veterans serving our country must receive the benefits they've earned for their sacrifices," said Van Toffler, President of MTV Networks. "By raising awareness through �A Night for Vets: An MTV Concert for the BRAVE,' and by launching the BRAVE petition, we aim to elevate these issues and ensure they're a top priority for our government officials."
"We are honored to help shine a light on the issues facing young veterans, and to bring these veterans' stories to both the CNN and MTV audiences," commented Jon Klein, president, CNN/U.S.
"Anderson Cooper 360: Back from the Battle," hosted by Cooper, will highlight the challenges facing young vets returning home from Iraq and Afghanistan. Cooper will report on families left behind to deal with the stress of wartime deployment, and the mixed emotions of pride, fear, and even detachment. Cooper will also report on Homes for Our Troops, a small, non-profit organization that started when builder John Gonsalves realized many soldiers were returning with disabilities but no suitable place to live; Cooper is there as they enter their new homes for the first time. Dr. Sanjay Gupta, a neurosurgeon and CNN's senior medical correspondent, will revisit and update the amazing tale of Jesus Vidana, a young Marine whose life Gupta saved when he operated on him while embedded with U.S. troops. Gupta will also examine the impact of Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) on the lives and families of troops returning home from battle. CNN's Baghdad-based correspondent Michael Ware reunites with a soldier he followed into the battle of Fallujah to see how much of the war in Iraq he has brought home with him. The special will also include footage, interviews, and other highlights from the October 23rd concert.
Recent MTV research revealed that 74 percent of young people ages 18-29 personally know someone who has fought in Iraq or Afghanistan. To mobilize support across the U.S., MTV worked with top veteran organizations to create BRAVE, The Bill of Rights for America's Veterans.
Veterans' organizations across the country, such as Iraq and Afghanistan Veterans of America (IAVA), Veterans of Foreign Wars, Disabled American Veterans, AMVETS, Veterans for America and Wounded Warrior Project collaborated with MTV to identify top issues impacting young veterans to create BRAVE. "A Night for Vets: An MTV Concert for the BRAVE" will encourage viewers and attendees to sign a petition supporting BRAVE, calling on our elected officials to make BRAVE a reality. American's can sign the petition by texting BRAVE to 66333 or by logging on to http://www.chooseorlose.com
BRAVE includes the followings calls to action:
Properly treat veterans' mental health issues
Every troop gets face-to-face screening from a mental health professional prior to deployment and within the first six (6) months of returning home from war.
Prevent homelessness among veterans
Prevent young veterans and their families from falling into homelessness by creating 20,000 more permanent supportive housing units for very low-income veterans by December 31, 2009.
Give disabled veterans the benefits they have earned
The number of troops with physical, psychological, and neurological wounds waiting for their benefits should be cut in half by December 31, 2009.
Fully fund our veterans' hospitals
Veterans' hospitals should be fully funded for the 2010 fiscal year by September 20, 2009.
Compensate troops made to serve longer
Troops on Stop Loss orders should receive an additional $1,500/month in pay.
"Iraq and Afghanistan Veterans of America is thrilled to team up with MTV to raise awareness about the most pressing issues facing America's newest generation of heroes. From providing adequate mental health care to preventing homelessness, there is a tremendous amount at stake for Iraq and Afghanistan veterans in this election," said Paul Rieckhoff, Executive Director of Iraq and Afghanistan Veterans of America (http://www.IAVA.org). "IAVA looks forward to encouraging its thousands of members nationwide wide to sign the BRAVE petition and show support for the 1.7 million men and women who have served in harm's way."
In addition to signing the petition online or via text message, citizens around the country can show their support by logging on to http://www.chooseorlose.com to learn more about these issues. To help spread the word to friends and family, a BRAVE widget is available online for users to post on personal blogs and/or Web sites.
"Choose or Lose '08" (http://www.ChooseorLose.com) is MTV's Emmy Award-winning campaign to engage, inform and empower young voters on the political issues that matter to them most. First launched in 1992, the campaign has helped fuel several of the largest youth voter turnouts in US history, including in 2004, when it helped inspire nearly 22 million 18-30 year olds to register and vote. All "Choose or Lose" content � plus more information on the candidates, issues, registering to vote and a spirited debate � can be found on http://www.ChooseorLose.com.
"A Night for Vets: An MTV Concert for the BRAVE" Production Credits:
Dave Sirulnick, Executive Producer
Garrett English, Executive in Charge
Ocean MacAdams, Executive Producer
Jeff Jacobs, Co-Executive Producer
Talent Executives: Robin Katz, Amy Doyle, Wendy Plaut, Joanna Bomberg and Whitney-Gayle Benta.
MTV is the dynamic, vibrant experiment at the intersection of music, creativity and youth culture. For over 26 years, MTV has evolved, challenged the norm, and detonated boundaries�giving each new generation a creative outlet and voice that entertains, informs and unites on every platform and screen. On-air, MTV has been the number one rated 24 hour ad-supported cable network P12-24 for 16 straight years. Online, MTV.com scored double-digit growth in 2007 and MTV launched 15 dynamic online communities and eight new virtual worlds. On the go, MTV Mobile is the #1 music brand in the wireless space � delivering 90% more streams than in 2006. And MTV's successful sibling networks MTV2, mtvU and MTV Tr3s each deliver unprecedented customized content, super-serving music fans, college students and young American Latinos like no one else. MTV is part of MTV Networks, a unit of Viacom (NYSE: VIA, VIA.B), one of the world's leading creators of programming and content across all media platforms.
CNN Worldwide, a division of Turner Broadcasting System, Inc., a Time Warner Company, is the most trusted source for news and information. Its reach extends to nine cable and satellite television networks; one private place-based network; two radio networks; wireless devices around the world; CNN Digital Network, the No. 1 network of news Web sites in the United States; CNN Newsource, the world's most extensively syndicated news service; and strategic international partnerships within both television and the digital media.