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Reality Television Kills the Video Star?

by Peter Granitz
May 10, 2011

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Judy McGrath is leaving the top post at MTV. And she's leaving at the top of the game. As a child of the MTV generation, I've got mixed emotions. (Full disclosure: Although we had cable, my parents blocked MTV because they deemed it inappropriate).

Apparently the network has gone retro, brining back classics like Headbangers Ball and 120 Minutes. But the bread and butter of the network today is reality television. The network that catapulted Sean Duffy to the House of Representatives also launched the career of, well, Snookie.

I've always associated MTV with reality shows. In the lifespan of the network it seems that music videos only made up a small fraction of the early years.

The New York Times has a write up here. And it's got a kicker that sums it up well:

Last month, Viacom announced a 20 percent increase in revenue driven by advertiser demand for shows like "Jersey Shore." Mr. Dauman said "Viacom has never been stronger financially."

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