AceShowbiz - MTV News is closing down after 36 years. The network was launched as a single show in 1987 but it is being shuttered this week after parent company Paramount Global announced they will be getting rid of 25% of their U.S. workforce in the wake of restructuring to integrate Showtime, which will see "studios" combine Showtime with MTV Entertainment Studios and "networks," which will merge nine separate teams into one portfolio group, leading to the majority of the lay-offs.
According to The Hollywood Reporter, Showtime/MTV Entertainment Studios and Paramount Media Networks president Chris McCarthy wrote in a memo to staff, "This combination has resulted in an incredible track record of hits... However, despite this success in streaming, we continue to feel pressure from broader economic headwinds like many of our peers. To address this, our senior leaders in coordination with HR have been working together over the past few months to determine the optimal organization for the current and future needs of our business. As a result, we have made the very hard but necessary decision to reduce our domestic team by approximately 25%. This is a tough yet important strategic realignment of our group. 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."
MTV News became a hit with younger audiences after former Rolling Stone editor Kurt Loder joined in 1987 and launched "The Week in Rock". He was followed by the likes of Tabitha Soren, SuChin Pak, Gideon Yago and Alison Stewart, who covered a varied roster of topics ranging from music to politics.
Infamously, in 1992, presidential candidates George H.W. Bush, Bill Clinton and Ross Perot agreed to be interviewed by the network in a bid to attract younger voters, with an audience member's question to Clinton, "Boxers or briefs?" becoming a defining cultural moment. In 1994, MTV broke into their regular programming to announce the death of Nirvana frontman Kurt Cobain.
Later in the 2000s, MTV News saw a dip in popularity as its target audience turned to online news sources instead, and in 2017, many staff members were made redundant as the company made a switch to focus on video and short-form content.