MTV News, a division of Paramount Global, is shutting down after 36 years as part of a 25% domestic workforce reduction across units run by Chris McCarthy, the president of Paramount Media Networks and Showtime/MTV Entertainment Studios. In a memo to staff, McCarthy cited “pressure from broader economic headwinds” affecting various U.S. newsrooms. MTV News was launched in 1987 with a show called “The Week in Rock,” featuring former Rolling Stone writer Kurt Loder, who quickly became the face of the news division. Its broadcasts became appointment viewing for an entire generation of pop culture enthusiasts in an era before the internet. The news division also covered politics, enticing younger generations to participate, and produced award-winning coverage on topics like the Iraq War. However, the division’s popularity waned with the rise of digital publishing and social media. MTV News saw significant cuts in 2017, and its online output received only modest attention compared with competitors. With various American outlets shuttering in recent months, the end of MTV News comes as yet another reminder to audiences that the media ecosystem is changing. Fans took to social media to express their disappointment, with one tweeting, “It’s heartbreaking the way media has been allowed to become a total fucking wasteland.” The closure of MTV News marks the end of an era for pop culture enthusiasts and political junkies alike.
MTV News ends after 36 years