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MTV turns 30

Posted Wednesday, August 3, 2011, at 1:38 PM

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.

Showing comments in chronological order
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We got MTV in McCook in December 1982. My Grandmother had it in 1981.

The Thriller Video was towards the tail end of single releases off of Thriller and actually was never a No. 1 single. Hard call if MTV made Michael the mega star. Off the Wall was a major album with ok songs (actually most sounded like The Jacksons "Shake your body").

In McCook we would watch "Night Tracks" on WTBS.

You are right about MTV seeming like the least that care.

-- Posted by wallismarsh on Wed, Aug 3, 2011, at 2:00 PM

That's because it would remind people that MTV is called "Music" Television (although that's hardly reflective of them anymore) and was supposed to exist for music. Then they started the reality tv genre ruining not only their own station but the rest of tv programming in general. Who would want to remind people of that? MTV used to be cool but now it's just a reality show channel and a poor one at that.

-- Posted by McCook1 on Wed, Aug 3, 2011, at 3:46 PM

Three words: Beavis and Butthead

-- Posted by speak-e-z on Wed, Aug 3, 2011, at 4:07 PM

Oddly enough speak e z but MTV is actually bringing Beavis and Butthead back. Let's hope it is actually decent unlike when Spike brought back Ren and Stimpy (that reincarnation was completely unwatchable).

-- Posted by MichaelHendricks on Wed, Aug 3, 2011, at 11:41 PM


Beavis and Butthead, poster boys for this board.

-- Posted by boojum666 on Sun, Aug 7, 2011, at 10:18 PM

MTV is 30 but its viewership is normally 15 to 25. Soooo, they don't want to admit they're old, certainly not 30!

I think I have viewed maybe 3 hours of MTV in the past 30 years. When it began, I was too busy raising my family and making a living for us. And sometime in the past 30 years I left the pop music culture behind for more important fare.

-- Posted by Boomer62 on Mon, Aug 8, 2011, at 4:06 PM

Come on ochosinco, one might make the assumption, based on your call name that you graduated in 1985. Certainly you must have become engulfed in the music video rave of the 80s. After all, that was arguably the best music of all time, that with the visual accompaniment of the Van Halen dancers and one would have a hard time NOT peering endlessly into the magical world of musical imagery.

Unfortunately, Beavis and Butthead was an icon that summarized the youth of the 80s, which may well be the generation, my generation, that began the undoing of our great nation. Lost morals, lack of work ethic and generally, self glorification that seems to have only amplified upon to shoulders of the following generations.... But I digress.

MTv? not so much these days. Sad to say the least.

-- Posted by Nick Mercy on Thu, Aug 11, 2011, at 11:29 PM

WOW!!!!!!!!!! Nick

Your second paragraph is certainly thought provoking. You may get a lot of grief from your contemporaries. I must agree with your assessment. If you are from that generation, may more of your contemporaries develop your outlook and if they do, there may be hope for us yet.

-- Posted by doodle bug on Fri, Aug 12, 2011, at 9:02 AM


Check out the spin move at about 2.47.


-- Posted by wallismarsh on Sun, Aug 14, 2011, at 7:01 PM

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