Once upon a time, MTV was a lot closer to a radio station than E!. Sure, there were still personalities a plenty (Downtown Julie Brown, anyone?), but these wild hosts existed as guides to link viewers between various music videos. When Time Magazine unveiled its list of the 100 greatest television programs of all-time, MTV, as a channel, was listed for the years 1981 to 1992. Sure, there was some variation depending upon when viewers tuned in during that time period, but generally speaking, there was something seamless and streamlined about the whole thing. Then The Real World debuted in 1992, and things slowly started changing. I don't blame the reality program. It was genuinely interesting for a few seasons, but its airing did mark a fundamental shift in the network's direction. Now, nearly twenty years later, MTV's primetime line-up is devoid of music videos all together.

This slow erosion of the channel's basic vision has been dissected and analyzed ad nauseum over the past decade, but it always seems to reach its boiling point when MTV broadcasts its annual Video Music Awards. The festivities air later tonight, and not surprisingly, they've gotten some musicians all fired up including Maroon 5's lead singer Adam Levine. The outspoken Voice judge took to his Twitter to unleash the following rant…
the VMA's. one day a year when MTV pretends to still care about music. I'm drawing a line in the sand. fuck you VMA's.

Personally, I agree with him. I find it difficult to look at MTV's programming decisions and not see a fundamental disconnect with music. Most networks find room for the occasional aside, but in MTV's case, those asides have become so prevalent that it's hard to separate them from the network itself.

Do you think MTV still cares about music? Sound off by voting in the poll below…

Does MTV Care About Music?
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