42 years after Video Killed The Radio Star, the suits killed MTV News.
MTV News is getting shut down by its parent company Paramount Global after being on air for 36 years largely affected by the company’s layoffs.
Paramount Global is laying off about 25% of its workforce on Tuesday that includes Showtime, MTV Entertainment Studios, and other Paramount Media Networks.
The parent company came under tough decisions as some studios are seeing budgets tightening due to the rise of inflation.
MTV News was the most popular among younger people in the 1980s and the 1990s that was defined by the Gen X and Millennial audience. It was regarded as a “Giant Culture Force”.
“The generational influence on MTV News is still felt throughout our current news landscape. A lot of news written and presented today undoubtedly started with future broadcasters watching those hourly breaks and The Week In Rock’ from their dorm rooms,” said Kevin Couch, who the Music Director/ Morning Show at 97X WOXY in the 1990s, but now a Director at Michael Levine’s Boundless Media USA. “The journalistic integrity of pop culture news as a whole is always a kind of ebb and flow situation, but the original standard was set with MTV News.”
The coverage was cemented for pop coverage and pop culture history covering various red-carpet events that included the MTV Music Awards.
Rolling Stone editor Kurt Loder was made his prominence as the first MTV News correspondent that made him widely known since the 1980s.
“Kurt Loder was the guy when it came to news. He was smart, straightforward, and a spot-on journalist,” said Mara Einstein, a former VH1 media executive in the 1990s. “Economically, it makes sense for this is being shut down–good journalism is expensive and takes time and that can’t compete with split-second hot takes on TikTok, but it’s sad to see it go.”
The network had expanded out to Europe in 1997 that localized presenters using variations of the US news. Due to the expansion of the regions, that included MTV News UK, Canada, Italy, Brazil, Japan, China, and Latina America.
Coverage went beyond entertainment, as the network was covering politics and other current affairs keeping the young audience informed.
“MTV news was, in and of itself, a spin-off of mainstream TV news and was so cool and intellectual,” said Bryan Glazer, an executive producer from World Satellite Television New. “Television was magic when I began my career. People ran home to watch the news. They ate their TV dinners watching the tube. Now, everyone has a camera on their cellphone.”
The presence of MTV News covering the 1992 U.S. presidential election encouraging its Gen X voters through its slogan “choose or lose” campaign. MTV would continue to use the slogan for other presidential election cycles.
MTV News collaborated with Sean “P. Diddy” Combs political service group, Citizen Change, on the slogan “Vote or Die” in 2004 in contrast to the Iraq War that created fears of the reinstatement of the military draft. The network’s audience largely consisted of young voters who were 18 and over at the time that were against the war.
In 2008, MTV News correspondents would interview both Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama. MTV News’ audience leaned Democratic that would attract young voters to come out to the polls. Citizen Change also promoted the slogan “Obama or Die” ahead of the 2008 presidential election.
The network also made a cameo appearance in the MTV’s Beavis And Butt-Head.