I saw a mini-marathon of old Pop Up Video episodes on VH1 Classic the other day, and it made me a bit wistful for the days when the channel could be counted on to occasionally be informative. Sure, Rock of Love has taught me quite a bit about what happened to the “band-aid” characters from Almost Famous, but besides that, there’s not much other than the blurbs between the videos during the Top 20 countdown. Well, color me surprised to see the notice that the guy behind Pop Up Video and Behind The Music has “left to pursue other opportunities.” John Sykes, who also signed Counting Crows and Stone Temple Pilots while away from MTV in the ’90s for a bit, was MTV’s first promotions manager, a gig that probably involved following Randy of the Redwoods around a lot. Lately, however, he had the somewhat dubious responsibility of trying to expand MTV’s reach to old people.
He had been working on launching standalone multi-platform ventures for MTVN for the last three years, but they went nowhere. At first he was working on co-branded cable services with Comcast, which did not materialize, and later was developing standalone broadband services centered on boomer lifestyle interests such as health, personal finances and music, reports MCN. But Viacom instead decided to focus on strengthening its existing brands in various platforms, thus cutting out his interest areas.
Sounds like they had shuffled Sykes to the wing of Viacom’s office building no one bothers visiting, which is a shame, since unlike most of the people they have over there now, there is actual proof that he had decent ideas in the past. Actually, I take that back; that Scarred show is genius. Injuries!
In memory of better days with MTV Networks, John Sykes, a video from the glory years: