After nearly four decades of covering the music industry for one of the largest entertainment brands in the world, MTV News is officially shutting down. The major division of Paramount was already downsized in 2017, but it was evidently not profitable enough for company standards to keep it alive. Simultaneously, 25% of employees across Showtime, MTV Entertainment Studios, and Paramount Media Networks will lose their jobs.
MTV News was a music media institution that covered more than just music, but also shed light on important topics that affected the country. In a memo obtained by Variety to the staff, President Chris McCarthy referred to the layoffs as a “very hard but necessary decision” as the companies grapple with economic pressures.
“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.”
Despite the reasonable success of MTV’s streaming efforts, Paramount decided to put an end to it. Affected employees were notified on Tuesday, May 9, of their job status. The remaining studios – Showtime and MTV Entertainment Studios – will continue to operate as a consolidated group.
McCarthy’s group will be consolidated into “two functions”: Studios, encompassing Showtime and MTV Entertainment Studios; and networks, combining nine separate teams into one portfolio group. The affected Paramount-owned networks include Nick, MTV, Comedy Central, Paramount Network, CMT, Smithsonian, TV Land, Logo, and Pop TV.
MTV News has been around for 36 years, cementing itself in the late ’80s as a hybrid network for those seeking an intersection between pop culture, politics, and hard news. The network launched the careers of anchors Kurt Loder and Tabitha Soren, who broke earth-shattering pop culture moments in real-time, such as the deaths of Kurt Cobain and Tupac.
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