If the nimrods in charge of ViacomCBS had any sense at all, they'd go retro today on MTV, instead of the usual regurgitated reality garbage.
Y'see, kids, on this day 40 years ago, MTV made its debut in a smattering of homes. The story's been told about how the VJ's were in New Jersey for the launch, and it would be roughly six months before the channel landed on most cable systems in upstate New York.
Mark Goodman, who had left WPLJ in NYC some time prior, is the first VJ on the air. Mark would later return after initially leaving in 1987, and spent some time hosting an oldies show on sister channel VH1. As we've previously documented, Alan Hunter, an aspiring actor, had appeared in David Bowie's video for "Fashion".
Martha Quinn was the 518's gift to MTV, fresh from NYU. You can imagine the volume of fan mail exploded once MTV began airing in the 518. JJ Jackson, who passed away in 2004, had been heard on the air on radio in 1976's "Car Wash". Nina Blackwood, like Hunter, was an aspiring actress, and after leaving MTV in June 1986 (along with Jackson), went west, and signed with Paramount to contribute to Solid Gold & Entertainment Tonight for 2 years (1986-8). The four surviving VJs are all now on SiriusXM satellite radio.
Now, thanks to Internet Archive, let's go back to 1981: