Saturday, July 20, 2024

Paramount Global Erases Archives of MTV Website, Wipes Music, Culture History After 30 Plus Years

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MTV.com is gone. Kaput. Wiped off the face of the Earth.

Parent company Paramount Global, formerly Viacom, has tossed twenty plus years of news archives. All that’s left is a placeholder site for reality shows. The M in MTV – music — is gone, and so is all the reporting and all the journalism performed by music and political writers ever written. It’s as if MTV never existed. (It’s the same for VH1.com, all gone.)

There’s no precedent for this, and no valid reason. Just cheapness and stupidity.

This follows the shut down of MTV News on the channel last year. MTV is now just a graveyard for reality show crap. All of its substance has been desiccated over time.

MTV News became a force in music, entertainment, and politics in the early 90s. As the channel’s popularity soared, the News division — including the faces of Kurt Loder, Alison Stewart, Serena Altschul, Sway, and John Norris — became incredibly important especially to political campaigns. Now all those interviews — hundreds of thousands of hours with rock stars and what we now call influencers of generations — have been replaced by a link to “Help! I’m in a Secret Relationship.”

Writer Kathy Iandoli posted: “MTV.com deleting all of our articles and replacing them with schedules for TV shows that can also no longer be streamed on their site is proof that no one has any idea of what the hell they are doing right now.”

She’s not alone. There is fury among MTV.com writers past and present who now see their histories erased, along with all the music and political reporting.

Patrick Hosken posted: “So, http://mtvnews.com no longer exists. Eight years of my life are gone without a trace. All because it didn’t fit some executives’ bottom lines. Infuriating is too small a word”

Michell Clark wrote: “I don’t even have the words. I was just a freelancer but I put so much blood, sweat, and tears into telling stories that I cared about, the right way, on that platform. What a gut punch.”

The end of the MTV.com archives is not unprecedented. When the former New York Observer was bought by Jared Kushner years ago, hundreds of articles disappeared.

As Paramount destroyed the library of articles, some writers managed to save a few for the WaybackMachine, which was just profiled for trying to hold onto evaporating information on the internet. But mostly the articles about pop culture will vanish now.

Paramount owner Shari Redstone has allowed something to happen here much worse than any of her recent fears about selling the company.

The greed of the company is obvious, as well as its lack of respect for journalism. But this is also a wake up call for anyone though the internet was forever. Not having print copies of a writer’s work is a big mistake. A big lesson is learned here.

Roger Friedman
Roger Friedmanhttps://www.showbiz411.com
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.

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