At Revamped and Now Gutted MTV News, Many Epic ‘Rep’ Battles

Spin magazine compiles an ugly playlist

Wild ‘N Out is not just the name of an MTV series that featured last night, for its ninth season debut, Chance The Rapper. It’s also an apt description of how the network’s news division dealt last fall with some objections about a review of the artist’s performance at The Meadows Festival in Queens.

Per an extensive Spin investigation by Jorden Sargent with additional help from Andy Cush, the concert review was piped over to MTV’s Snapchat Discover channel, where it was seen by the performer’s management and led those folks to tell the network their client was never going to work with MTV again. In a separate email to Spin, however, manager Pat Corcoran insists that the decision at the time to quickly delete the article in question was entirely MTV’s.

This is just one of several such murky conflict-of-interest dramas highlighted in the Spin article. Others involve Kings of Leon, DJ Khaled, Kanye West and a blind item:

Elsewhere, interference from artist reps was so pervasive that some MTV News editors spent part of this past New Year’s Eve haggling line-by-line with a chart-topping, platinum-selling, Grammy-winning female pop star’s publicist over a post in which MTV’s editors eventually agreed to cut one sentence.

The laying off of editorial staff at MTV News and plans to shift to video content comes on the heels of a similar one-two at Vocativ. As part of a media disruption post-mortem on The Daily Beast, Lloyd Grove revealed that the company, backed by an Israeli billionaire, had no internal ad-sales team.

At MTV News, it was essentially the opposite. The efforts of the writers were deemed to be getting entirely in the way of the parent network’s very large sales force.

Previously on Fishbowl:
Newly Minted MTV News Editor Points to David Bowie Article