On August 1, MTV (better known to those of us that grew up in the 1980s as Music Television) turned 30. You would not know that had you turned on MTV at all that day or gone on the website.
If you wanted to see anything about the 30th Anniversary you would have had to tune into VH1 Classic, MTV2, or gone to VH1s webpage.
As most of the generation that grew up in the 80s remembers, MTV was absolutely revolutionary. It changed the way that we listened to music. Music videos became huge productions following Michael Jackson's Thriller video, which is still considered on the top songs and top videos of all time. One could argue that without MTV Michael Jackson may not have gotten as big as he did. He was big with the Jackson 5 but it was after he had been solo for years and in conjunction with MTV that his career launched into the hemisphere.
The Hair-Metal Era (viewed by some as horrible and others as the best music ever was) certainly would not have had the impact it did with MTV.
After Grunge began to fizzle out in the mid 1990s there was suddenly a shift at MTV. Spurred on by the success of Real World (the first one was fairly entertaining, the rest since that time had progressively gotten worse when I stopped watching around the 6th or 7th season) MTV began moving away from music videos and video countdowns and more towards reality television.
Gone are shows like Headbangers Ball and Yo! MTV Raps, replaced by shows like the god awful Jersey Shore and Teen Mom.
Just looking at a one day line-up a person is hard pressed to find any shows dedicated to music on MTV. Today for instance. The only "music" shows play from 6 AM to 9 AM and again starting at 3 AM. Not surprisingly most of the people that MTV considers its core audience is typically in bed during these times.
When asked about why MTV was not recognizing its 30th Anniversary, senior vice president of communications Nathaniel Brown answered:
"We are really focused on our current viewers, and our feeling was that our anniversary wasn't something that would be meaningful to them, many of whom weren't even alive in 1981."
Essentially Brown was giving a huge middle finger to the audience that made MTV what it was. Sadly this has been intentional move.
(Un)Happy Anniversary MTV.
For the record, I have not watched MTV since before 9/11 and I really have no plans to watch it again. I typically turn on VH1 in the mornings and get to watch nothing but music videos until noon, if I choose to.