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Its early on-camera personalities were New York radio veterans Don Imus (then of WNBC), Frankie Crocker (then program director and DJ for WBLS), Scott Shannon (of Z100), Jon Bauman ("Bowzer" from Sha Na Na), Bobby Rivers, and Rita Coolidge.
Later VJs included Tim Byrd of WPIX-FM (now WFAN-FM), a station whose eclectic ballad-and-R&B oriented format mirrored that of VH-1, and Alison Steele ("The Nightbird" of WNEW-FM).
They would be seen on the Sunday morning 2-hour music video block titled Sunday Brunch.
Once VH1 established itself a few years later, they catered to Top 40, adult contemporary, classic rock, and 1980s mainstream pop.
More recently, much like MTV, VH1 has been in the area of music-related reality programming, such as Behind the Music, the I Love…
series and the Celebreality block of programming, as part of the channel's current focus on popular culture.
For a time, even country music videos aired in a one-hour block during the afternoons.
The format left room for occasional ad-libs by the VJ, a godsend for emcees such as Imus and O'Donnell.Also frequently featured in the network's early years were "videos" for Motown and other 60s oldies consisting of newsreel and concert footage.It was introduced on January 1, 1985 with the video performance of "The Star-Spangled Banner" by Marvin Gaye.A box displaying the minutes past the hour was shown below the logo during the period.It was discontinued a week before the channel was re-branded in the Spring of 1994.