They all laughed when MTV founders said, "We're launching a 24-hour rock ’n’roll channel"

How ad legend George Lois (and a good dose of lateral thinking) saved MTV from going bankrupt after its first year of operations

A 24-hour rock ’n’roll channel? In 1981?

It's hard to believe today, but when MTV launched in 1981, MTV was an epic failure. 

In fact, after its first year of operations, MTV almost went bankrupt.

The first year of MTV on air, they only sold $500k worth of advertising. 

Advertisers thought MTV was a joke. 

Rock stars hated MTV.

Music publishers barked, "MTV i…

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