MTV News is shutting down after 36 years, Variety reports. The company has been shuttered as part of larger layoffs at parent company Paramount Global that saw 25% of employees across MTV Entertainment Studios, Paramount Media Networks, and Showtime laid off on Tuesday (May 9).
In a memo to staff, Showtime/MTV Entertainment Studios and Paramount Media Networks president Chris McCarthy wrote that despite “success in streaming, we continue to feel pressure from broader economic headwinds like many of our peers,” and that “senior leaders in coordination with HR have been working together over the past few months to determine the optimal organization for the current and future needs of our business.”
McCarthy added: “This is a tough yet important strategic realignment of our group. 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. Today we will notify employees whose positions are being impacted with leaders communicating the news directly to those teams/or individuals. These meetings will be followed by individual 1:1s with our HR partners.”
MTV News launched in 1987 with one show, The Week in Rock, hosted by veteran journalist Kurt Loder. Correspondents like Loder, Tabitha Soren, SuChin Pak, Gideon Yago, Alison Stewart, and others reported for the outlet as it expanded into pop culture, politics, and other areas, bringing a youthful perspective that served as an alternative to established media. On April 8, 1994, Loder confirmed the death of Kurt Cobain, an event that led MTV News to break into regular programming.
In 2015, MTV News made a major investment in online coverage, with an added focus on longform journalism, but in 2017 many of its writers were laid off as the company began to emphasize more on video and short-form content.