MTV has most certainly strayed from its roots over the years. Not that following the ol' dollar sign is a bad thing, but we digress. After a lengthy search-and-vote process, the network has selected its first-ever Twitter jockey, one Gabi Gregg from Detroit. She'll purportedly be relocated to New York City and given a six-figure salary, all while reporting on "pop culture news using Twitter, Facebook, blogs and MTV's website." MTV calls this position a "modern-day re-imagining of the pioneering MTV VJ," with Gabi's first assignment being at the 2010 MTV Video Music Awards on September 12th. So, did social networking just kill the video star?
MTV and ZYNC From American Express(SM) Announce First Ever MTV TJ 'Twitter Jockey' Following Nationwide Vote
Gabi Gregg Will Serve as the Social Voice for the MTV Audience and Work from MTV's Times Square Headquarters
Live Finale Hosted by MTV News' Sway Featured Appearances by Kelis and Robyn with a Performance by The Ready Set
NEW YORK, Aug. 9 /PRNewswire/ -- ZYNC from American Express and MTV, a division of Viacom Inc. (NYSE: VIA and VIA.B) announce Gabi Gregg as the winner of "Follow Me: The Search for the first MTV TJ" competition, www.zync.mtv.com. Gabi was named the first MTV TJ "Twitter Jockey" after a nationwide vote during last night's finale - which aired on MTV and was streamed simultaneously on MTV.com - and will be based at MTV's global headquarters in New York City. The three month long job search featured 20 candidates battling it out in a series of Twitter challenges.
Gabi Gregg, 23, is a graduate of Mount Holyoke College where she graduated cum laude in May 2008 with a degree in International Relations and African American Studies. In 2008, she founded the popular blog "Young, Fat and Fabulous." Since then she's been interviewed by The New York Times and Good Morning America, and has been featured in the fashion magazines French Glamour and Vogue Italia.
"So much to say about how I feel right now, but keeping it to 140 characters or less I'll say, #VMAs here I come! THANK U to #ZYNC, #MTV and most of all the fans whose votes got me here! I promise I won't let you down! #ZYNCmtvTJ," said Gabi Gregg.
The MTV TJ position is a modern-day re-imagining of the pioneering MTV VJ. While the MTV VJ had a one-way dialog in reporting music and pop culture-related news to the audience, the MTV TJ will actively engage MTV's hyper-social audience - answering their questions and amplifying their interests, while doling out behind-the-scenes information, cool links and exclusive media across MTV.com, Twitter, Facebook, blogs and in 30-second sponsored on-air interstitials.
This newly created position expands upon MTV's history of providing its audience a global platform to express themselves. MTV uses social media to make it easier for its fans to engage around loud programming moments - everything from Twitter visualizations for award shows and chat widgets for popular series like The Jersey Shore, to an active Twitter and Facebook following.
The competition kicked off on MTV.com on July 7 with the 20 candidates competing in a series of five Twitter challenges created with ZYNC from American Express that ranged from discovering a local band to interviewing celebrities including Sean Kingston. After the challenges concluded, an internal committee at MTV selected the first four candidates to advance to the finale, with significant consideration of results provided by TweetLevel, http://tweetlevel.edelman.com, a specialized tweet-scoring service developed by Edelman that measured a range of factors, including influence, popularity, engagement and trust, while one candidate moved on after receiving the most votes through the ZYNC Card(SM) Facebook page, www.facebook.com/zync.
Last night, the final five contestants squared off live in New York City in a series of elimination rounds, including two ZYNC-centric challenges aimed to empower the wanna be TJs to showcase their personal expression and individuality. The finale, which aired both live on MTV and streamed simultaneously on MTV.com, was hosted by MTV News reporter Sway and featured appearances by Kelis and Robyn with a performance by The Ready Set.
Gabi will begin work immediately, reporting for her first assignment at the 2010 MTV Video Music Awards in Los Angeles on September 12.