MTV News Shuttered After 36 Years, Further Proving American Media is Broken
After nearly four decades of covering the music industry for one of the largest entertainment brands in the world, the powers that be at a major division within Paramount have decided to simultaneously shut down MTV News and slash a quarter of their workforce. The move unceremoniously ends a music media institution that covered more than just music, but also shed light on important topics that affected the country as a whole.
According to a memo that was distributed among staff yesterday, Paramount Media Networks, MTV and Showtime leader Chris McCarthy said that even though the massive corporation was experiencing some “success” in their streaming efforts, the company saw a need for a “strategic alignment” in an effort to streamline operations and reduce costs. The company line, of course, was that they continued to “feel pressure from broader economic headwinds like many of our peers.”
“As a result, we have made the very hard but necessary decision to reduce our domestic team by approximately 25%. Through the elimination of some units and by streamlining others, we will be able to reduce costs and create a more effective approach to our business as we move forward.”
The 25% reduction in staff will take place across Showtime, MTV Entertainment Studios, and Paramount Media Networks.
As someone who’s been on either side of the “massive media layoffs” shit sandwich, I can decipher that bit of corporate speak for you: “We wanted to increase corporate profits at the expense of our workers, so even though we’ve got decent streaming revenues coming in, we shitcanned a bunch of people that were little more than a line item in our balance sheet. Good luck to the employees we decided to keep — we expect you to do more with less.”
McCarthy said everyone affected by the layoff were going to be notified in person yesterday. This news comes after a series of other moves by the company to scale back MTV News over the years. Remember, this was the same MTV News that became a cultural touchstone in the 90s and early 2000s thanks to the likes of Kurt Loder, Chris Connelly, Sway Calloway, and the numerous others behind the scenes.
For many of us, it’s how we learned about the major deaths of Kurt Cobain and Tupac Shakur, or how youths learned about the presidential candidates at the time. It was highly informative and while it hadn’t been operating at the same level as it did back in the day, MTV News was still covering modern music news.
So yeah. We’ll pour one out for MTV News. Another one down.