MTV turns 30
WTOP's Nathan Hager and Neal Augenstein report.
WASHINGTON -- Remember when MTV played music?
It's a question worth asking on the 30th birthday of the cable network once known as Music Television.
At 12:01 a.m., Aug.1, 1981, the 24-hour music channel launched on cable with the image of a space shuttle launch and an astronaut planting the MTV flag on the moon.
That was then, this is now:
Truth be told, it's been a long time since MTV lived up to its name.
Thanks to YouTube and record company websites that keep a running tally of their views, artists don't need a dedicated music channel to promote their next hit single.
Still, MTV has managed to reinvent itself over the decades, whether with bawdy cartoons like "Beavis and Butthead" or by pioneering the reality TV craze with "The Real World."
Where do you see MTV going in the next 30 years? Can it still keep a finger on the teenage pulse?
Post a comment in this story, on WTOP's Facebook page or join the conversation below. On Twitter use #mtv30.
(Copyright 2011 by WTOP. All Rights Reserved.)
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