Friday, April 19, 2024

MTV News Cancelled After 36 Years As Paramount Cuts 25% of Workforce, Follows End of Buzz Feed News


Little by littler delivery systems for the news are going away.

Last week BuzzFeed News announced it was shutting down.

This afternoon Paramount cut 25% of its workforce and cancelled MTV News after 36 years.

When MTV was relevant to young people in the 80s and 90s, MTV News brought the world to its audience. Kurt Loder was the most prominent reporter, but there were plenty of others including Tabitha Soren, Serena Altshul, John Norris, Alison Stewart. This was a time when MTV was important in politicizing new voters, young adults 18 to 25. MTV News was cool, so candidates wanted to appear in town halls, and so on.

But MTV has been whittled down to a shadow of its former self. No one is watching it for news, but instead reality shows about inane subjects.

Paramount is merging everything it can, starting with Showtime and Paramount Plus, as well as MTV and all its affilated channels. Already VH-1 has been spun off to BET, which they’re trying to sell.

Showtime/MTV Entertainment Studios and Paramount Media Networks president Chris McCarthy said in a statement sent to the staff. It’s ironic reading it after, on Sunday’s episode of “Succession,” we saw Cosin Greg and Tom lay off a huge number of people via Zoom.


As we finalize the integration of SHOWTIME and continue to transform our business for the future, we have set a great foundation for continued success by consolidating our group into two functions:

• Studios – integrating SHOWTIME and MTV Entertainment Studios into one powerful studio team
• Networks – combining nine separate teams into one portfolio group

This combination has resulted in an incredible track record of hits including Yellowstone, 1883, Tulsa King, South Park, The Challenge, Teen Wolf, 1923, Drag Race, Mayor of Kingstown, Your Honor, George & Tammy and Yellowjackets – which, taken together, drove record subscribers across Paramount+ and Showtime and helped Paramount+ lead the industry in new subscriber growth.

However, despite this success in streaming, we continue to feel pressure from broader economic headwinds like many of our peers. To address this, our 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.

As a result, we have made the very hard but necessary decision to reduce our domestic team by approximately 25%. 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. ADVERTISEMENT

I realize these decisions will be very hard for everyone, most of all, those who will be leaving. It’s not something we take lightly. We have some of the most passionate and dedicated team members, who bring their full selves to drive our brands and business forward. This is why it’s so difficult to say goodbye to our friends and colleagues. To those impacted, we deeply appreciate the passion and creativity you have brought every day. I want to thank you for your many contributions.

Our leadership team and HR partners are committed to ensuring this process is done with empathy and respect.


Roger Friedman
Roger Friedman
Roger Friedman began his Showbiz411 column in April 2009 after 10 years with Fox News, where he created the Fox411 column. His movie reviews are carried by Rotten Tomatoes, and he is a member of both the movie and TV branches of the Critics Choice Awards. His articles have appeared in dozens of publications over the years including New York Magazine, where he wrote the Intelligencer column in the mid 90s and covered the OJ Simpson trial, and Fox News (when it wasn't so crazy) where he covered Michael Jackson. He is also the writer and co-producer of "Only the Strong Survive," a selection of the Cannes, Sundance, and Telluride Film festivals, directed by DA Pennebaker and Chris Hegedus.

Read more

In Other News