MTV News: The most legendary moments from 36 years on air

LOS ANGELES - SEPTEMBER 5: Tabitha Soren and Kurt Loder at the 1991 MTV Video Music Awards at in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Jeff Kravitz/FilmMagic)
Tabitha Soren and Kurt Loder of MTV News at the 1991 MTV Video Music Awards. (Jeff Kravitz/FilmMagic)

On Tuesday, 9 May it was announced that MTV News would be closing for good after 36 years.

The programme delivered the latest news in the music industry to teens and young adults and it quickly became the go-to hub for pop culture following its launch in 1987, but times have changed and thus marks the end of an era.

In a world of social media and instant gratification it seems it was difficult for MTV News to keep up with other titans in the field, and even when the programme did enter into the digital age there were other outlets to compete with.

And, sadly, it appears that MTV News just wasn’t able to do so because the network’s parent company Paramount Global announced it would be ending the programme and making cuts to its workforce by 25%.

Read more: MTV News Signs Off for Good After 36-Year Run (The Hollywood Reporter, 4 min read)

According to The Hollywood Reporter, in a statement to staff Showtime/MTV Entertainment Studios and Paramount Media Networks president Chris McCarthy said: “Senior leaders in coordination with HR have been working together over the past few months to determine the optimal organisation 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 per cent.

“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.”

Kurt Loder, Britney Spears and Mick Jagger during 2001 MTV Video Music Awards - Arrivals at The Metropolitan Opera House at Lincoln Center in New York City, New York, United States. (Photo by KMazur/WireImage)
Kurt Loder, Britney Spears and Mick Jagger during 2001 MTV Video Music Awards. (WireImage)

MTV News was once a powerful force amongst young viewers, in its glory days it was a key programme for many and would even feature some major political players.

Kurt Loder was an anchor of the show and for many the face of music news, it was during his tenure on MTV News that many around the world first heard of Nirvana frontman Kurt Cobain’s death in 1994 as the programme was one of the first to break the tragic news.

One now iconic moment from the show’s history, also in 1994, saw President Bill Clinton answer an unexpected question from an audience member when discussing violence in America on the programme Enough is Enough: “Is it boxers or briefs?”

The moment made national headlines at the time and showed the huge reach of the programme, and it wasn’t the last time that the show hosted politicians as MTV News had P Diddy interview Barack Obama in 2004.

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At the time, President Obama was a senator and he discussed the need for young people to get involved in politics and take an interest in how the government is working so that their voices could be heard.

It wasn’t the last time that the President appeared on the show, in 2008 he and Hilary Clinton appeared on the programme for an MTV forum.

In another famous moment from MTV News, correspondent Tabitha Soren had an argument with Mariah Carey’s publicist over being cut off without warning during an interview with the singer.

While in another, an interview Loder did with Madonna at the 1995 MTV VMAs was famously gatecrashed by Courtney Love who interrupted their chat by throwing makeup compacts at them.

Loder returned to the show one last time in March, at least in a way he did because he starred in an advert that was designed to be a fictional segment of MTV News, but really it was promoting the second season of Showtime’s Yellowjackets.

In it, Loder was digitally de-aged in order to make it seem like he was making an announcement about the missing soccer team that are at the centre of the show during the 1990s.

That was the heyday of MTV News. In 2023, things were markedly different for the programme after cuts and a change in delivery to video content meant it was no longer the pop culture phenomenon it had been in the 90s and early 2000s.

Despite the loss of MTV News there’s no denying that at one time it certainly was the moment, and where many heard it first.

Watch: MTV News to close