Nina Justman: The Moonman Cometh

From 1988 to 2003, Nina Justman was the MTV News’ first line of defense and offense. 

As Assignment Editor, she pitched reps for artist access, and took the heat when they didn’t like the story. She talked artists onto the red carpet, and begged them off.

“Nobody did a red carpet like we did,” she remembers. “But there were plenty of uncomfortable situations where I’ve got the headset on and I’m standing there with Puffy and they’re telling me in the truck that they don’t want him!”

“I’m trying to keep everybody copacetic. So I’m like, ‘We’re in a commercial break. Can you wait five minutes?'”

“Meanwhile, we’re not in a commercial break.”

This week, Nina recalls her early days at MTV News; partying with Elton John; dining with George Michael; championing Dave Matthews; that time ODB swiped her all-access pass; plus red carpet moments with Madonna, Britney, Mick Jagger, and more.

“I left with a with a Moon Man,” she said, of the iconic VMA trophy. “And I go to bed every night  knowing that I had this really fruitful career, it was enjoyable and I met great friends.”

“I don’t know if I could have ever topped that anywhere else.”

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