Anyone who has been even remotely familiar with MTV (Music Television) for the past decade or so should be well aware that featuring music and music videos is a very low priority to the network and, as a result, the network has decided to quietly remove the “music television” portion of their name from their logo. Long gone are the days of hour long music video blocks and shows devoted to various genres of music videos (Alternative Nation, 120 Minutes, Yo! MTV Raps, etc.) because they have all been replaced with vapid reality TV programming (that is mostly scripted these days) like The Hills, Jersey Shore, The Real World, etc. … so it absolutely makes sense that MTV would want to drop the pretense that they are “music television” any longer:
Is it a surprise to anyone actually watching MTV that the network on Monday quietly dropped “Music Television” from its logo? Probably not. It’s a wonder that anyone even noticed the difference. But a difference there is. For the first time in the network’s 29-year history, MTV has decided to give the channel’s iconic logo a face-lift. “The people who watch it today, they don’t refer to MTV as music television. They don’t have the same emotional connection that, say, the people who are writing about [the logo change] do,” MTV’s head of marketing Tina Exarhos said. Indeed, The Wrap called it “a minor change with major symbolism,” while The Hollywood Reporter wrote having “music television” in the old logo was “a constant reminder that MTV was branding itself one way, programming itself another.” Outside of its annual “VMAs” music video award show, and with the cancellation of “TRL,” MTV has long abandoned music as a programming mainstay. For years, all eyes have been on genre-busting reality shows like “The Osbournes,” “Newlyweds,” “Jackass,” “My Super Sweet 16″ and “The Hills.” The network is currently riding high with the docudrama “Teen Mom” and “Real World”-esque “Jersey Shore.” Exarhos said the network’s marketing team had tossed around losing “Music Television” from the logo before, but “we had never taken the idea upstairs to [MTV president Van Toffler and MTV Networks chair-CEO Judy McGrath]. We thought, ‘No one is ever going to let us do this.’ It’s the one thing we’ve never touched,” she said. But with the channel’s most recent on-air redesign — something the network switches up every couple of years — “now felt like the right time.” “It felt like, ‘Why have we been so scared when the channel itself has evolved so much over the years?’ ” Does the newly cropped logo mean no music at all? “Absolutely not,” Exarhos said, pointing to the success of the “VMAs” and the recent Haiti telethon organized by George Clooney and the network. Some editions of the logo, in fact, feature Beyonce at the “VMAs” and Jay-Z on the telethon, while others promote new shows like “My Life as Liz” and upcoming ones including “The Hard Times of RJ Berger”. Beyond cropping out the words “Music Television,” Exarhos said her team redrew and minimally tweaked the placement of the “TV” within the “M” (Spot the difference between the logos.
I’ve long given up on mourning the loss of Music Television … it’s just a damn shame that the network’s march towards the crapper continues unabated. I understand that the popularity of the Internet has pretty much killed the video star but considering how many different networks MTV owns (MTV, MTV 2, MTV Tr3s, etc.) you’d think that someone in charge would want to ensure that the legacy of Music Television might be preserved … somehow. News of the demise of “music television” isn’t surprising … but it sure is sad and depressing. Peace the Spork Out, Music Televsion … you will be sorely missed — but in all honesty, you’ve been dead for a very long time.