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MTV News to shut down as Paramount slashes US workforce

10.05.23 17:27
A major Paramount division announced Tuesday it will shutter MTV News and slash its US workforce by 25%, bringing to an end the iconic music video network’s news division that once covered a range of issues from pop culture to politics and became a household name for Generation X and Millennial adolescents.

Chris McCarthy, who heads Paramount Media Networks, MTV and Showtime, said in a memo to staff Tuesday that despite the media giant’s “success” in streaming, the 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.”

Employees affected by the layoffs were to be notified in person on Tuesday, McCarthy said.

The decision to shut down MTV News, which had already been significantly scaled down in recent years, comes less than a month after BuzzFeed announced it would eliminate its award-winning news division and Vice Media canceled its acclaimed “Vice News Tonight” as part of a broad restructuring.

MTV News’ meteoric rise began in the 1980s when Rolling Stone editor-turned-TV host Kurt Loder joined the network and launched its “The Week in Rock” program, as well as other specials. During the ’90s, MTV News also provided an alternative to traditional cable news that appealed to young Americans.

The cuts, described by McCarthy as a “strategic realignment,” aim to streamline units and reduce overall costs, allowing the company to be more effective as it moves forward.

In addition to MTV News, some units in the company are being eliminated altogether, most of which are operations, a Paramount spokesperson said.

Nearly every major news, entertainment and technology company has been forced to slash its workforce in recent months as they face a slumping advertising market and other industry challenges.

CNN, The Washington Post, NPR, Gannett, Vox Media, NBC News and others have also cut their workforces in recent months, CNN reports.

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