MTV News, the news division of the iconic cable network, is closing down after 36 years as part of the latest round of mass layoffs at Paramount Global, the parent company of MTV. The news unit launched in 1987, filling a void for Gen X-ers and older millennials seeking a cable television alternative to traditional news networks with a focus on music, pop culture, news and politics.
MTV News correspondents including Kurt Loder, Tabitha Soren, Gideon Yago, Alison Stewart, SuChin Pak, and others have built up a resume of high-profile interviews over the years, hosting town halls with the likes of former President Barack Obama, John McCain, Bill Gates, and others.
One of the most memorable moments in the network’s history was during the 1994 town hall, when former President Bill Clinton declared live on MTV’s “Enough Is Enough” that he prefers “briefs” over boxers when asked by an audience member about his choice of underwear. The exchange made national news headlines and instantly became a viral sensation. The Hollywood Reporter described the moment as “a running joke still referenced to this day.”
The decision to close the news unit comes amid a new round of layoffs at the company, which reportedly cut MTV and Showtime’s staff by nearly 25%, according to a memo to employees obtained by the LA Times from president of Showtime/MTV Entertainment Studios and Paramount Media Networks Chris McCarthy.
Longtime MTV News employees and fans mourned over the announcement on social media, praising Loder for his coverage of “so many huge moments in pop culture.” The layoffs reportedly come after MTV’s parent company, Paramount Global, reported last week that it recorded a net loss of $1.1 billion in the first quarter of this year.