In a move that signifies the end of an era, MTV will no longer include the words “Music Television” under its iconic logo. The Wrap was the first to report on the new logo, which will still feature the monolithic “M” and its dripping “TV,” but no underlying text. The shift seems to confirm what many have suspected for years: Following the cancellation of TRL and the success of Jersey Shore, The Hills and the Real World spin-offs, music is no longer MTV’s main priority.
“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 told the Los Angeles Times. Exarhos adds that the marketing department had previously toyed with removing “music television” but felt the text was too sacred and that higher-ups wouldn’t approve the idea. Since the network is introducing some new on-air designs, “now felt like the right time” to update the logo, Exarhos said.
It remains to be seen if the logo change will have any further impact on MTV’s scheduling. The network will likely continue to schedule their Video Music Awards and provide ancillary between-commercial coverage to musical figures. However, the removal of “Music Television” makes it harder for critics to point out that MTV’s programming isn’t really dedicated to music. At the 2007 VMAs, Justin Timberlake used MTV’s own stage to chastise the network for its shift away from music. “Play more damn videos. We don’t want to see the Simpsons on reality television,” he said.
There’s a brief history of the MTV logo posted on the Website for Frank Olinsky, one of the designers who created it; according to Olinksy, the logo originally was not accepted by the fledgling network until the words “Music Television” were added underneath. Nearly 30 years later, Olinsky’s original design has returned.