Thirty-six years after MTV News, it is no more for the steady expansion of programming that defined cable channel MTV.
MTV News was shuttered this week as part of larger layoffs at parent company Paramount Global.
which was launched as a solo show in 1987 (the week in rockled by reporter Kurt Loder) eventually became a viable news outlet for Gen X and older millennials, who found that traditional TV programming on broadcast networks and CNN wasn’t cutting it.
Correspondents such as Lowder, Tabitha Soren, Suchin Pak, Gideon Yago, Allison Stewart and others covered music, pop culture, politics and other topics geared toward a younger generation who tuned in to MTV rather than the network’s evening newscasts. Were.
Along the way, MTV News itself created a few pop culture moments, perhaps none bigger than in 1994, when President Clinton appeared on MTV. enough is enoughA town hall addressing violence in America.
The special was led by Soren and Stewart and watched as they, as well as audience members in attendance, asked Clinton questions about fighting crime and balancing personal liberty with social responsibility. But when an audience member asked Clinton, “Mr. President, the world is dying to know, is it boxers or briefs?”
“Usually brief. I can’t believe he did that,” Clinton replied, to laughter from the crowd.
MTV News later held a town hall with Barack Obama, John McCain, Bill Gates and others, and the boxers or briefs would become a joke still referenced today.
Its coverage of topics such as sexual health, the Iraq War, and devastating natural disasters earned the news division and its reporters Emmys and Peabody Awards, while it continued to news and criticize music and pop culture.
On April 8, 1994, MTV resumed regular programming after confirming the death of Nirvana frontman Kurt Cobain, with Lauder breaking the news to the channel’s viewers.
Certainly, the MTV News of 2023 is much smaller and much less high-profile than the MTV News of the 1990s and 2000s, when it could have helped define pop culture and covered stories more traditional outlets Will not touch
MTV News had already been significantly reduced in size in 2017, when it largely abandoned a strategy of taking on outlets such as BuzzFeed and Vice, led by a team of digital journalists. grantland alum Dan Firman. The company said at the time that it would return to its roots to focus on shorter content and videos (MTV News used to be interspersed at the top of the hour on the cable channel with news updates). The most recent iteration focused on entertainment and pop culture news and criticism.
Now, however, in the midst of a major upheaval in the entertainment business, and Paramount looking to cut costs, MTV News is one of the pieces that didn’t fit into the larger strategy at play. According to comScore, MTV attracted 6 million monthly visitors to its flagship website in March, up slightly from 5.6 million in the same month a year earlier.
It was a true digital presence, but small potatoes compared to competitors like BuzzFeed and Vice, which have shuttered or downsized their news divisions in recent months.
At its peak, beyond covering pop culture, MTV News was as much a part of the culture as its correspondents, none more so than Lauder, former Rolling stone Writer who worked in the news division for several decades.
“He never once wished his audience good night or a happy tomorrow,” wrote new York Times Reporter Judith Miller in a 1993 story about MTV News embracing politics. “Dressed in funeral black, he looks like he’s hoping it’s going to thunder and rain all day. In short, he’s Rock’s contemporary Reverend Dimsdale.
Lauder appeared as himself in episodes of shows such as the simpson, that ’90s show And Kenan and Kel,
In fact, Lauder made one final MTV News appearance in March for corporate parent Paramount… sort of.
This was a fictional segment intended as an advertisement for the new season of the Showtime series yellow jacket,
Lauder told the audience that Lauder played himself on the MTV news desk, reporting on the missing soccer team whose “whereabouts are still unknown”.
It was a throwback in more ways than one, with deepfake technology being used to age Lauder so that he could be back in the early 1990s (he’s now 77), the glory days for MTV News.
Lauder ended the fictional segment before signing off with MTV News’s tagline, “Later, we’ll catch up with Grammy winner Alanis Morissette, fresh off her Jagged Little Pill Tour.” MTV News, You Let’s hear it first. ,