After 36 years of being a go-to source for music, pop culture and political news for Gen Xers and older millennials, MTV News has shut down. The news division was shut down as part of a larger round of layoffs at Paramount Global, its parent company.
It began as a single show in 1987 led by correspondent Kurt Loder, The Week in Rock, but it quickly grew into a full-fledged news outlet that was an alternative to traditional TV programming on CNN and broadcast networks.
MTV News has been shuttered after 36 years, signaling a major shift in the landscape of pop culture news.
MTV News correspondents including Loder, Tabitha Soren, SuChin Pak, Gideon Yago and Alison Stewart were known for covering music, pop culture, politics and other topics with an eye towards the younger generation that tuned into MTV, rather than the network evening news. Their Emmy and Peabody Award-winning coverage of topics like sexual health, the Iraq War and natural disasters earned them critical acclaim, while their coverage of pop culture helped to define the zeitgeist of the time.
MTV News became part of the culture and its correspondents, especially Loder became household names. Loder, who spanned multiple decades at the news division, appeared as himself in various TV shows and movies. In March, Loder even made one final appearance for MTV News in a fictional segment for the Showtime series Yellowjackets, which used deepfake technology to make him look and sound like he did in the early 1990s.
However, despite its past success and digital presence, MTV News was a shadow of its former self and Paramount Global had been looking to cut costs. In 2017, MTV News had already significantly reduced its size, refocusing on shortform content and video in a return to its roots as an interstitial news provider for the cable channel. The most recent iteration of the news division focused on entertainment and pop culture news and criticism.
According to Comscore, MTV drew 6 million monthly visitors to its flagship website in March, a slight increase from the same month a year earlier. Nevertheless, it was small potatoes compared to competitors like BuzzFeed and Vice, both of which have also shuttered or downsized their news divisions in recent months.
More on Television:
- ‘Let Adults Be Adults’ Tom Hanks Calls for End to Censorship
- Fox Corp’s Shocking Loss – Dominion Voting Lawsuit Costs Decimate Profit
- CW Shocks Fans by Pulling the Plug on ‘Walker: Independence’
In the end, MTV News just didn’t fit into the larger strategy that Paramount Global has in mind for its entertainment business. While it may be a sad moment for those who grew up watching MTV News, the reality is that the media landscape has changed dramatically since its inception. Nonetheless, its legacy will live on, and its correspondents will continue to be remembered for their contributions to news and pop culture.