MTV News, Vice Media: Troubled Times For Attracting Younger Viewers, Ad Partners?

Concerned about the evolution of modern TV news coverage -- especially attracting young TV news consumers?

This was dealt a severe blow over the last couple of weeks: MTV News and Vice Media have both suffered losses -- although for different reasons.

More recently, Vice Media filed for bankruptcy. A media company that was once valued at $5.7 billion. Vice said on Monday it has agreed to sell its assets to a consortium of lenders – Fortress Investment Group, Soros Fund Management and Monroe Capital – in exchange for $225 million.

“Vice News Tonight”, its flagship news show on the Vice cable TV network, was canceled recently. The long-time effort for Vice was to bring a younger perspective to TV and other news content -- mostly with longer, more in-depth stories.

Mind you, Vice Media is not alone.

Gannett's newspaper-publishing chain, National Public Radio and The Washington Post have had layoffs. 

MTV News -- the decades-long newscast on MTV owned by Paramount Global -- was ended recently amid a number of cutbacks for a media company.



MTV News had been a mainstay of the longtime cable TV network-- starting in the 1980s. It did provide news with a focus on what Generation X and millennials wanted on music, fashion, sex, and, yes, even politics and social news.

Think about MTV News as a media tool that gave younger viewers a strong view of the world where there was no social media -- Snapchat, Twitter, Instagram, and the like.  That said it had a Twitter feed, a YouTube Channel, and a Facebook page -- all this to target a 12-34 audience.

MTV News tried to wedge itself in the world of TV news content that catered to audiences generally 50 years and older -- one brought in pharmaceutical, insurance, financial marketers, and a host of direct response advertisers. 

MTV News and Vice Media were both efforts to not only target younger viewers, but perhaps change the direction of news consumption as those viewers got older.

The trouble is that both had major issues amid the recent downturn in TV and digital media advertising. 

The Vice cable TV channel in late February, for example, averaged 58,000 average prime-time viewers, per Nielsen -- in 82nd place among all cable TV networks. Over the same period, MTV channel average 215,000 prime-time viewers, in 38th place.

Thinking about MTV News in 1994. According to one commentator, those under the age of 25 in 1994, probably heard the news of Kurt Cobain's death on MTV News via MTV News anchor Kurt Loder — rather than Tom Brokaw on NBC  or Peter Jennings on ABC.

More recently, MTV News has done specials on school shooting, including that of the one in Parkland in Florida: “Parkland: The New Normal”.

Will social media continue to filling this news void now -- for a majority of younger media viewers -- to the depth they really want and need?

1 comment about "MTV News, Vice Media: Troubled Times For Attracting Younger Viewers, Ad Partners?".
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  1. Ben B from Retired, May 18, 2023 at 10:15 p.m.

    MTV News was largely on MTVU than the main MTV channel for the past 10 to 15 years was with no lead into the story which was movies & music mostly. I remember MTV News fondly with Kurt Loder when I was a teenager in the 90s.

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