Matt Anderson: Personal & Professional

These days Matt Anderson hangs out with Andy Cohen and The Real Housewives. But in the ’90s and early aughts, Matt parlayed an internship at MTV News to a role as Supervising Producer and eventually Executive Producer of Series & Development. 

Growing up in Framingham, Massachusetts, it was The Divas that snapped Matt out of the classic rock radio stupor.

“It wasn’t until I heard Donna Summer and I heard real dance music that I was like, ‘Holy crap, I think I like something different than my brother and sister! Maybe I’m different!’”

“And once I heard [Madonna], the die was cast.”

Matt saw his future and charted his course. 

“I saw a pamphlet for Fordham University and was like, ‘I gotta get to New York,’ he remembers. “There were profiles of different students and one interned at MTV. So I was like, ‘That’s what I’m gonna do.”

In his junior year, he landed that internship. And by the time his second term wrapped, Matt was a Week In Rock production assistant. 

“You know, they handed me an eight by 10 of an artist that I had to bring down to the graphics department,” he remembers. “And I realized, ‘That picture that I brought to the department is now on TV! I’m important!’ And people realized, ‘Oh, this guy will do anything,’ you know? That’s where it started.”

In his nearly two decades, Matt went shopping with Cindy Crawford and Sheryl Crow, met Madonna and Whitney, and produced John Norris and George Michael in London. And he was on set when Tabitha Soren went toe to toe with Mariah Carey’s publicist when he famously cut her off mid-interview.

“It was a great lesson to see Tabitha stand up for what she was trying to convey,” he says. “It was highly dramatic. It was a glamorous setting. And I was living for it all.”

For all his coverage of legendary divas, Matt was also party to some of the era’s most substantive stories, like 1993’s March on Washington for Lesbian, Gay, and Bi Equal Rights and Liberation

“It was exciting to do the kind of thing that mainstream media was not,” he says. “And when the personal can kind of intersect with a professional like that, it just leaves such an impact on you.” 

“There is something special about that time at MTV News,” he says. “You were with your people. You were so passionate about the music and the stories you were retelling. You cared deeply about the institution and what it stood for. And unfortunately, I think that’s more of the rule than the exception. 

For more on Mariah, Madonna, Whitney, George, Cindy and Sheryl, plus hanging out with Jon Stewart, dancing with Dave Grohl, visiting Skywalker Ranch (and nearly destroying the actual Death Star) listen to Matt’s You Hear It First episode on Apple or Spotify now.

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