40 Under 40 2020 | Michael Fabiani, ViacomCBS, 38

40 Under 40 2020 | Michael Fabiani, ViacomCBS, 38

There is a symmetry to honoring someone who is directly responsible for helping others win awards of their own at record numbers. And, when that same person plays a huge role in gaining widespread recognition for a heretofore underrepresented group, that personifies the best of communication.

Among many programs for various ViacomCBS properties, Michael Fabiani leads comms for VH1’s RuPaul’s Drag Race franchise. His efforts made Emmy Award history with an unprecedented 34 nominations and 13 wins for the franchise.

Perhaps even more important, the show is broadly credited for opening the door for drag and LGBTQ+ culture to enter the mainstream, gaining inclusion and acceptance that had a global impact. This was magnified via Fabiani’s efforts to successfully land RuPaul on the December 2019 cover of Vanity Fair.

Fabiani also put in vast work on countless other shows, such as Jersey Shore and its myriad offshoots. In addition, he was instrumental in the brand’s celebration of Stonewall 50, WorldPride NYC 2019 last June.

He also finds time to lead internal staffing across the brands, encompassing more than 60 shows. Called a natural teacher by many colleagues, he has helped numerous young PR pros ascend the ranks.

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