MTV News has ended. The news program that the entertainment network created in 1987 will cease to exist after 36 years on air. It defined music culture in the 1980s with broadcasters such as Kurt Loder, SuChin Pak, Tabitha Soren and Gideon Yago, many of whom are still working with Paramount, the company that owns MTV News. Loden, for example, made a commercial last March promoting the new season of Showtime's fiction series, Yellowjackets.
The measure is not accidental. It is part of the restructuring being made by its parent company, Paramount+, which will also include laying off more than 25% of the staff of its television network. Chris McCarthy reported on the layoffs. The head and executive producer of Showtime / MTV Entertainment Studios and Paramount Media Networks sent a memo to his employees assuring them that the job cuts were part of the adjustments the company had to make as it added Showtime to its catalog:
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.
The workers affected by this measure will be informed this Wednesday of their dismissal, which will be effective once the employee has been notified. A decision that Chris McCarthy assured "it's not something we take lightly":
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.
While Paramount is announcing its cuts, it also has to deal with its stock market results. A week ago, the company released its quarterly earnings. And they are not good. The audiovisual company reported that it had lost, between January and March 2023, US$1,118 million. These results in turn triggered a downturn on Wall Street and Paramount plummeted, at the time, by more than 26% on the stock market.