Paramount Media Networks to Shutter MTV News in Cost-Cutting Move

Paramount Media Networks to Shutter MTV News in Cost-Cutting Move

After thirty-six years of providing news and commentary oriented toward younger audiences, MTV News is being pink-slipped as part of a cost-saving move by Paramount Global. Chris McCarthy, who heads Paramount Media Networks, MTV and Showtime, told his staff last week that he company continues 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%,” he continued. “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 MTV News service, beloved of Gen X and older millennials, started out in 1987 as a single show, The Week in Rock, anchored by Kurt Loder. In the years that followed, Loder was joined by such correspondents as Tabitha Soren, SuChin Pak, Gideon Yago, and Alison Stewart who reported on everything from pop culture to politics, providing an alternative to the traditional network newscasts that then dominated the airwaves.

Proof that MTV News was not your grandmother’s Walter Cronkite came in 1994, when President Bill Clinton was asked by an audience member on its townhall program Enough Is Enough, “Mr. President, the world’s dying to know, is it boxers or briefs?” (Clinton replied: “Usually briefs. I can’t believe she did that.”)

MTV News would later air townhalls with Barack Obama, John McCain, Bill Gates, and other luminaries from the worlds of politics and business. It would also win Emmy and Peabody awards for its news coverage.

Loder became somewhat of a pop culture icon in his own right, appearing as himself in episodes of The Simpsons, That ‘90s Show, and Kenan & Kel. In a 1993 article for The New York Times, Judith Miller commented on Loder’s iconoclastic reinvention of the role of the news anchor. She wrote: “He never wishes his audience a good night or a pleasant tomorrow. Attired in funereal black, he looks as if he hopes that it will thunder and rain all day. He is, in short, the contemporary Reverend Dimmesdale of rock.”

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