MTV News has closed down after 36 years in operation as its parent company Paramount Global implements mass layoffs.
The news division of MTV launched in 1987 with “The Week In Rock” featuring host Kurt Loder, who was trending on social media on Wednesday. It aimed to provide entertainment content for anyone looking for an alternative news network focused on music, pop culture, news, and politics.
One of the most viral moments in the network’s history was during a 1994 town hall about violence in America with then-President Bill Clinton, who admitted to choosing briefs over boxers when an audience member asked about his underwear preference.
“Mr. President, the world’s dying to know, is it boxers or briefs?” the woman asked Clinton.
“Usually briefs,” Clinton said. “I can’t believe she did that.”
Their exchange became national news at the time.
The decision to close MTV News comes during a new round of layoffs, which reportedly cut MTV and Showtime’s staff by almost 25%, according to a memo to employees obtained by the Los Angeles Times.
“This is a tough yet important strategic realignment of our group,” President of Showtime/MTV Entertainment Studios and Paramount Media Networks Chris McCarthy wrote in the memo. “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.”
MTV News was much smaller and less popular in recent years than in the 1990s and early 2000s. It was slimmed down in 2017 following a failed campaign to compete with outlets like Vice and Buzzfeed, which have also been struggling lately, per The Hollywood Reporter.
Fans and former employees shared their thoughts about the shuttering of MTV News on social media.
“This is a very sad day for a lot of friends and colleagues,” MTV personality Josh Horowitz said in a tweet. “Many great people lost their jobs. I was hired by MTV News 17 years ago. I’m so honored to have been a small part of its history. Wishing the best for the best in the business.”
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“Wow! MTV News announced it will be shutting down – literally the end of an era,” TV host Aliya Jasmine said. “Huge part of my career was anchoring this iconic show for over a decade… formed me, formed a few generations… wow.”
“MTV News got an entire generation of Gen Xers and older millennials to start paying attention to global events, politics, the world. Kurt Loder & the MTV News crew expanded a part of my brain that living in small-town rural America never could,” Screen Rant’s Alisha Grauso tweeted.
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