Music News

MTV News is done, canceled by Paramount

I wanted to be Kurt Loder. Or Tabitha Soren. Or any of the other people who delivered MTV News. A gig that involved reporting on breaking news stories in the world of music? Jeezus, sign me up.

But now MTV News is being shuttered. After 36 years, MTV parent company Paramount Global is cutting costs and one of the casualties is MTV News.

It all began as a single program back in 1987 (The Week in Rock, hosted by Loder) and eventually evolved into a type of news broadcast that you couldn’t find anywhere else. Music was the main focus, but MTV News also looked at politics, social issues, and the wider pop culture world, all tailored to Gen X and then older Millennials.

Canadians didn’t get much of a chance to see MTV until September 1, 2000, when the channel finally got a license. (For years, MTV was kept out of Canada in order to protect MuchMusic. The only way to get it was to pull it down from the satellite and decrypt the signal using a dodgy system.) But every once in a while, we’d get to see a clip, especially when there was big news to report. For example:

MTV News was at its peak in the 90s and early 2000s. But then the internet came along and just like with YouTube and music videos, music news junkies didn’t have to wait around for MTV to tell them what was going on.

The organization has been under pressure for years. There were cutbacks in 2017 (they tried to take on BuzzFeed and Vice with little success; it should be noted that both those outlets have seen serious downsizing recently) and retrenched with shortform content for the web. That obviously didn’t work, either. Nor did an effort to beef things up on the MTV website.

The last episode? Kurt Loder faking it for an episode of Yellowjackets, part of which is set in the 90s.

Alan Cross

is an internationally known broadcaster, interviewer, writer, consultant, blogger and speaker. In his 40+ years in the music business, Alan has interviewed the biggest names in rock, from David Bowie and U2 to Pearl Jam and the Foo Fighters. He’s also known as a musicologist and documentarian through programs like The Ongoing History of New Music.

Alan Cross has 38536 posts and counting. See all posts by Alan Cross

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