MTV Acknowledges Prince's Passing During Upfront

MTV opened its glitzy upfront presentation in New York early Thursday evening by recognizing the death of musical icon Prince.

Viacom Music and Entertainment Group president Doug Herzog addressed the large crowd of advertisers and journalists by praising the life and work of Prince, who died suddenly Thursday at the age of 57.

Describing himself as MTV’s oldest employee and its biggest Prince fan, Herzog said the network couldn’t start its upfront without acknowledging the unimaginable passing of “one of the greatest artists in music history.”  

He added that Prince had been synonymous with MTV since the very beginning of both MTV and his career. “Even though we’re still processing the news and remembering the enormity of his legacy, I think it’s clear to remember what he was - -a once in a lifetime artist whose music touched all of us and will be missed dearly by everyone around the world,” Herzog said.  

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R. Thomas Umstead serves as senior content producer, programming for Multichannel News, Broadcasting + Cable and Next TV. During his more than 30-year career as a print and online journalist, Umstead has written articles on a variety of subjects ranging from TV technology, marketing and sports production to content distribution and development. He has provided expert commentary on television issues and trends for such TV, print, radio and streaming outlets as Fox News, CNBC, the Today show, USA Today, The New York Times and National Public Radio. Umstead has also filmed, produced and edited more than 100 original video interviews, profiles and news reports featuring key cable television executives as well as entertainers and celebrity personalities.