This week’s victim of recent mass employment layoffs is the iconic MTV News, a decision made by Paramount Media Networks.
With the recent layoff of Buzzfeed’s award-winning news division, the end of MTV News is shocking, considering its vast coverage of everything from pop culture to politics. The division’s intrinsic foundation made the powerhouse network beloved by Generation X and Millennial adolescents.
The story is the same: a parent company looks to cut costs. However, highly-publicized tech layoffs slowly take over the entertainment industry. Ultimately, MTV News didn’t fit into Paramount’s big-picture strategy. MTV garnered 6 million monthly visitors to its eponymous website this March, a slight improvement from 5.6M in March 2022 (Comscore).
So what’s Paramount’s big-picture solution? Cutting 25% of employees across the Showtime, MTV Entertainment Studios and Paramount Media Networks groups. Tuesday’s debacle follows months-long deliberations of rebranding as Paramount+ With Showtime.
Chris McCarthy, President of Paramount Media Networks, MTV and Showtime, broke the sad news to staff Tuesday via email. Despite their “success” in streaming with shows like Yellowjackets and Yellowstone, the company continues to “feel pressure from broader economic headwinds like many of our peers.”
“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.”Excerpt of Chris McCarthy’s email to Paramount Global staff (NPR)
This layoff will help its rebrand as the consolidation will have “two functions:” the studios of Showtime and MTV Entertainment; and networks– a portfolio group of nine individual teams.
Other affected Paramount-owned networks include Nick, Comedy Central, Paramount Network, CMT, Smithsonian, TV Land, Logo and Pop TV.
A sad ending for a once revered brand!