MTV2 abandons VJs

''Headless'' MTV2: no hosts, no guests

altmusictv has learned MTV2 is abandoning the concept of VJ-hosted shows, opting instead for a straight-up video block format. Subterranean, Headbangers Ball, Sucker Free, and all surviving music shows on the network will drop their hosts, voiceovers, and guests.

Essentially, this means Subterranean as we know it is gone. This week’s episode from the PLUG awards will be the last one with the usual format. Subsequent episodes apparently will not feature host Jim Shearer or bands at all.

I was told these changes are being made “for the forseeable future,” but I’m guessing we’ll never see a VJ on MTV2’s music shows again. I’d say this is MTV2’s way of phasing out its music shows entirely. We’re witnessing the end of over 25 years of the VJ concept on MTV.

The remaining staff at Subterranean have launched a blog at subterraneanblog.com, where they’ll feature some new videos and encourage bands to provide tour reports and other related stuff.

That blog will apparently be “the voice of Subterranean,” solidifying the show’s complete move to the Internet. Sounds like a great blog, but the show on TV will be “Subterranean” in name only. I doubt I’ll bother to watch the show on TV anymore.

It’s true the lack of VJ segments will allow more time in the show for music videos, but there’s no need to sit through 20 minutes of nearly unbearable commercials just to see 10 or 11 videos. When all you have is the music videos — no host, no guest, no “show” — the whole process works easier and better on the Internet.

This latest move by the network is not just another blow to MTV’s original concept. I’m thankful to Jim Shearer and others at MTV for supporting my site over the years, but with the show functioning as its own blog, it also renders my efforts irrelevant.

Due to these changes, the future of altmusictv is unknown. The main purpose of this site for 4 years has been to provide recap of 120 Minutes and Subterranean. Now that Subterranean won’t really be a show, I don’t see any reason to continue providing recap.

Recently, I’ve made an attempt to expand the content of the blog, but there isn’t much alternative music on TV to talk about. Everything is moving to the Internet. Perhaps it’s just a sign of the times, but it’s sad to see another nail in the coffin for MTV’s original concept.

What do you think about MTV2’s decision, and what should happen to altmusictv? If there has ever been a time to contact us, it’s now.

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