MTV News website vanishes, and with it 30 years of archived stories

MTV News was shuttered by parent company Paramount last year, and now its website—and with it thousands of news stories and feature articles—has been taken offline. Journalist Patrick Hosken, a former writer for MTV, appears to be among the first to notice the archives' disappearance.

I got let go over a year ago. Why didn't I archive more of my stories? Between looking for new jobs, being a dad, living life, etc it simply never stayed at the top of the to-do list. That sucks, and I have myself to blame. But also, fuck that, man

It was noted that something similar appears to be going on at CMT, also owned by Paramount.

sickening (derogatory) to see the entire @mtvnews archive wiped from the internet," Crystal Bell, culture editor at Mashable and one-time entertainment director of MTV News, posted on X. "decades of music history gone…including some very early k-pop stories."

"This is disgraceful. They've completely wiped the MTV News archive," longtime Rolling Stone senior writer Brian Hiatt commented. "Decades of pop culture history research material gone, and why?"

Alex Young makes a point, one not obvious to readers or even most people in the business: the archives represent ongoing legal costs. It's not the hosting that's the problem, it's the insurance.

I believe the decision was at least partially motivated by Paramount's unwillingness to pay for E&O (errors and omissions) insurance and associated licensing costs (such as for Getty Images) in perpetuity. Every piece of content published on a site like MTV comes with a certain amount of risk. Is there a sentence that is inaccurate? Does a negative review contain something that an artist might construe as libelous? Is a photo or video properly licensed? And often times, these issues don't surface until years after the initial piece of content was published.

If you want to get into the weeds of this, it's interesting that they decided to just wipe it out entirely than to go to the effort of removing specific liabilities. 30 years of publication and it wasn't worth spending a cent to clean it up. They looked into the abyss and when it looked back at them they said "nope" and threw a match in. has it all.

Previously: So long, MTV News