Paramount cuts US workforce, MTV News set to shut down after 36 years
On Tuesday, a significant division of Paramount made the decision to close down MTV News and reduce its US workforce by 25%. This move marks the end of the renowned music video network's news division, which was once recognised for covering various topics spanning from pop culture to politics.
MTV News became a household name for Generation X and Millennial adolescents.
In a memo addressed to the staff on Tuesday, Chris McCarthy, the executive overseeing Paramount Media Networks, MTV, and Showtime, acknowledged the company's achievements in the streaming space.
However, he also expressed that the media giant, like many others in the industry, faces challenges due to wider economic factors. McCarthy highlighted the ongoing pressure experienced by the company despite its streaming success.
“As a result, we have made the very hard but necessary decision to reduce our domestic team by approximately 25%. 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,” he continued.
According to McCarthy, the employees impacted by the layoffs were scheduled to receive personal notifications on Tuesday. The choice to close down MTV News, which had already undergone substantial downsizing in recent years, follows a similar trend in the industry.
Less than a month ago, BuzzFeed revealed its plans to discontinue its acclaimed news division, while Vice Media also canceled its renowned program "Vice News Tonight" as part of a comprehensive restructuring effort.
MTV News experienced a rapid ascent during the 1980s, propelled by the addition of Rolling Stone editor-turned-TV host Kurt Loder. Loder's involvement led to the launch of popular programs like "The Week in Rock" and various specials.
Throughout the 1990s, MTV News offered a distinct alternative to conventional cable news, capturing the attention of young Americans.
Described by McCarthy as a "strategic realignment," the cuts have been implemented to streamline units and minimize expenses, enabling the company to enhance its efficiency going forward.
Apart from MTV News, the company is also eliminating certain units, primarily focusing on operations, according to a spokesperson from Paramount.
In recent months, the majority of significant news, entertainment, and technology companies have been compelled to reduce their workforce due to a decline in the advertising market and various industry obstacles.
CNN, The Washington Post, NPR, Gannett, Vox Media, NBC News, and several other companies have also implemented workforce reductions in recent months.