Elon Johnson: Kick It

If you caught a ten-to-the-hour-every-hour MTV News brief with Kurt Loder or John Norris sometime around the turn of Millennium, chances are it was written by Elon Johnson.

These days, Elon leads development for Tyler Perry Studios in Atlanta. But in 1999, Elon was one of a handful of MTV News Writers tasked with scripting daily news briefs and packages.

“You are an amazing writer if Kurt kept three of your words!” she remembers with her signature laugh.

This week on “You Hear It First,” Elon shares her journey from Barbados to Brooklyn, Def Jam to The Source, and MTV News, and breaks down day-to-day operations in the MTV Newsroom.

“We were all young, open minded and willing to learn.”

She talks about going undercover in Harlem, bumping into Busta Rhymes, getting tight with Christina Aguilera, standing in for Lil Kim, championing Alicia Keys, breaking news on Aaliyah’s death, and fanning out on Cyndi Lauper.

“I had access that I didn’t have had before,” she says. “I was outside. I was having experiences.

Listen to “You Hear It First: An Unofficial & Unfiltered History of MTV News” on Apple (bit.ly/3Sv06S2), Spotify (bit.ly/3MyfLMB) or wherever you get your podcasts.

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