MTV drops ‘Music Television’ from the network logo


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Is it a surprise to anyone actually watching MTV that the network on Monday quietly dropped ‘Music Television’ from its logo? Probably not. It’s a wonder that anyone even noticed the difference.

But a difference there is. For the first time in the network’s 29-year history, MTV has decided to give the channel’s iconic logo a face-lift.


‘The people who watch it today, they don’t refer to MTV as music television. They don’t have the same emotional connection that, say, the people who are writing about [the logo change] do,’ MTV’s head of marketing Tina Exarhos said. Indeed, The Wrap called it ‘a minor change with major symbolism,’ while The Hollywood Reporter wrote having ‘music television’ in the old logo was ‘a constant reminder that MTV was branding itself one way, programming itself another.’

Outside of its annual ‘VMAs’ music video award show, and with the cancellation of ‘TRL,’ MTV has long abandoned music as a programming mainstay. For years, all eyes have been on genre-busting reality shows like ‘The Osbournes,’ ‘Newlyweds,’ ‘Jackass,’ ‘My Super Sweet 16’ and ‘The Hills.’ The network is currently riding high with the docudrama ‘Teen Mom’ and ‘Real World’-esque ‘Jersey Shore.’

Exarhos said the network’s marketing team had tossed around losing ‘Music Television’ from the logo before, but ‘we had never taken the idea upstairs to [MTV president Van Toffler and MTV Networks chair-CEO Judy McGrath]. We thought, ‘No one is ever going to let us do this.’ It’s the one thing we’ve never touched,’ she said. But with the channel’s most recent on-air redesign -- something the network switches up every couple of years -- ‘now felt like the right time.’

‘It felt like, ‘Why have we been so scared when the channel itself has evolved so much over the years?’ ‘
Does the newly cropped logo mean no music at all? ‘Absolutely not,’ Exarhos said, pointing to the success of the ‘VMAs’ and the recent Haiti telethon organized by George Clooney and the network. Some editions of the logo, in fact, feature Beyonce at the ‘VMAs’ and Jay-Z on the telethon, while others promote new shows like ‘My Life as Liz’ and upcoming ones including ‘The Hard Times of RJ Berger’.

Beyond cropping out the words ‘Music Television,’ Exarhos said her team redrew and minimally tweaked the placement of the ‘TV’ within the ‘M’ (Spot the difference between the logos, pictured above.)

-- Denise Martin