MTV News is rebranding to reach a younger demographic
- MTV News has been losing the younger demographic to Vice and BuzzFeed so in response it’s rebranding and revitalizing its name with new hires from Grantland (recently shuttered by ESPN), the New Republic and other media outlets.
- Dan Fierman, editorial director for MTV News, and ex-Grantlander, is in charge of the effort and told Adweek, "If we can make this brand super relevant again, that is a huge accomplishment."
- The strategy, according to Fierman, is to create a staff of thought leaders rather than “being somebody who is pulling that big Internet school of fish,” taking a jibe at some of MTV News' more clickbait-oriented competition.
"MTV is a brand that's all about young voices, creators and a specific point of view, and it comes from this great heritage of music. And that's really what we're pushing the organization back to," MTV president Sean Atkins told Adweek.
New hires from Grantland include Brian Phillips, Marcus Ellsworth, Holly Anderson, Molly Lambert and Mark Lisanti. Meanwhile, new hires from other media outlets include: Ana Marie Cox, Wonkette founding editor; New York Times Magazine contributor, and New York magazine Daily Intelligencer reporter Jaime Fuller; Jamil Smith from the New Republic; and Charles Aaron, formerly editorial director for Spin.
MTV News is clearly investing in talent. Adweek reports that two years ago MTV News switched gears to a digital-first strategy based on a data-driven approach. And Bloomberg Business reports that the new hires will continue down this road, writing for the website and contributing to MTV News' social media channels. That being said, though the network's TV ratings have been trickling, the brand will not fully abandon it's TV roots as part of its rebirth. And advertisers will be watching to see if it can regain the cultural relevance and audience it once had and reached during the 1980s and 90s.