Whatever Happened To Your Favorite MTV VJs?

Back in the glory days of MTV, when you could still catch a music video playing no matter what time of day, the channel's VJs (or "video jockey") were a ubiquitous presence. Many of them were there for some of music history's most iconic moments, presenting from the front lines at events like the Video Music Awards, the Spring Break Houses, and more.

Although they're not quite as visible or influential anymore, many of them are still making their way in various fields. Let's check in on some of those familiar faces and see what they've been up to.

Carson Daly

Dare we say the most well-known of all the VJs, Carson Daly, really made a name for himself as the original host of MTV's daily music video show Total Request Live from 1998 to 2003. In his role as the overlord of pop music, Daly interviewed all the megastars of the day, from Mariah Carey (in a well-publicized and disastrous 2001 appearance) to Eminem and Limp Bizkit, along with countless others.

After leaving MTV, Daly managed to parlay all that experience into several new high-profile TV gigs; these days he's the host of his own late-night show, NBC's Last Call with Carson Daly. He's also the host of NBC's The Voice, on which he gets to banter with rumored-ex hookup Christina Aguilera, and is a daily radio radio presence on The Daly Download with Carson Daly. What can we say? The man just loves corresponding.

As for Daly's personal life? After memorably dating actresses Tara Reid and Jennifer Love Hewitt back in the day, he got married in 2015 to Siri Pinter, with whom he has three kids.

Ananda Lewis

VJ and host of TRL and The Hot Zone Ananda Lewis made quite a name for herself when she decided to speak openly to YM Magazine in 1998 about going celibate for six months. Her career at MTV took off, with The New York Times describing her in a 1999 profile as "the hip-hop generation's reigning It Girl... a woman whose looks and attitude have made her perpetually in demand at clubs and parties." After leaving MTV in 2001, Lewis went on to to start her own talk show called The Ananda Lewis Show, which unfortunately only lasted for one season.

According to Lewis' IMDb page, she worked briefly as a correspondent for The Insider in 2004, and also had a spot on the celebrity version of The Mole. For the most part, however, Ananda has gone off the TV radar, but you can check in with her at her Twitter page if you're so inclined.

Downtown Julie Brown

With her British accent and huge personality, Downtown Julie Brown was a celebrity favorite and an especially memorable presence on MTV in the early years. She launched her VJ career in 1990 as a host of Club MTV, the channel's first dance show. These days, you can catch her hosting and playing all the hits on her Sirius XM show "'90s on 9." If you want to hear even more from her, she's also all over Facebook and Instagram.

Never one to shy away from sharing her personal deets, for more on Brown's relationship with her second husband you can check out the extensive blog post she wrote around the time she appeared and switches houses with WNBA star Lisa Leslie on Celebrity Wife Swap back in 2013.

Wubba Wubba Wubba.

Tabitha Soren

Since she moved on from MTV, VJ Tabitha Soren went from appearing in front of the camera as a reporter for MTV News to working (and excelling) behind it. Soren realized a serious passion for photography and she's been making quite the second career of it. After accompanying her husband (and author of the best-selling book Moneyball) Michael Lewis on assignment, Soren started shooting baseball players. The project took on a life of its own, and even ended up as a book in 2017. According to KCRW, she also "won a prestigious journalism fellowship at Stanford (the Knight), and had three kids"

You can see more of Soren's work at her personal page.


Sway (real name Sway Calloway) made a name for himself at MTV starting in 2000 as a news correspondent on TRL. The gig led to some pretty high profile interviews, including not one, but three chats with President Barack Obama. Sway still occasionally popped up on MTV from time to time to host specials over the years, but his main gig now is currently hosting his own show, "Sway in the Morning," on SiriusXM.

On his radio show, Sway has interviewed musical artists like Jennifer Hudson, Tyrese, and Ice Cube, and also spoke with President Obama once again in 2016. He has also appeared as himself in recent years on TV shows like Empire and The Boondocks.

Perhaps Sway's most memorable moment recently came when he kept his calm while getting yelled at by Kanye West during a 2013 interview. Way to play it cool, Sway.

John Norris

According to ex-VJ John Norris' LinkedIn profile, he served as a correspondent for MTV News for 12 years, during which he interviewed the likes of Madonna, Whitney Houston, George Michael, R.E.M, and many, many more. He was rumored to have been a victim of MTV layoffs in 2008.

After working as a correspondent for CBS' Sunday Morning and 48 Hours, he briefly joined Fuse TV's Fuse News as a supervising producer, as reported by the New York Times in 2013. Since then, he's gone on to write for numerous outlets, including Vice, V Magazine, Billboard, and MTV.com.

For more Norris, you can also catch him on his Twitter page.

Matt Pinfield

Watching Matt Pinfield as host of MTV's alternative rock show 120 Minutes from 1995 to 1999, his memorably intense passion for music was always on display. After leaving MTV, Pinfield went on to both work in A&R for Columbia Records and write a 2016 book about how much music had influenced his life.

Like so many of his fellow ex-VJS, Pinfield also went into radio as a host of both a morning show on KFOG San Francisco (per his Twitter bio) and the nightly, nationally-broadcast alternative rock show Two Hours With Matt Pinfield. According to his bio on KFOG's site, Pinfield has "conducted over 1,000 interviews with such acclaimed artists as Paul McCartney, Rolling Stones, Pink Floyd, Coldplay, Foo Fighters, Red Hot Chili Peppers, and many more."

In January 2017, Billboard reported that Pinfield was "taking a break from his morning hosting duties on San Francisco's KFOG radio station in order to enter rehab." He's since exited rehab to resume hosting his shows, and also posts regularly as an avid tweeter.


Jesse Camp

Arguably one of the quirkiest VJs of all time, the towering perennial fan favorite Jesse Camp (born Josiah A. Camp III) memorably beat Dave Holmes in MTV's 1998 Wanna be a VJ competition. Crowned the winner, he was offered a contract to be a VJ and for the next year appeared as a co-host of TRL.

After his contract was up, Camp kept working with his band and tried to get his music career off the ground with a 1999 album Jesse & the 8th Street Kidz (music video here), but unfortunately it never really reached cruising altitude. He returned briefly to MTV in 2016 as host of a segment called "TBTRL" on the channel's Snapchat Discover, where, according to MTV.com, "viewers can see clips of musicians from back in the day."

For some recent Camp-y antics, you can watch what happened when The New York Post caught him on camera discussing celebrity gossip in 2016; he's also still partying and posting regularly on his Instagram account.

Serena Altschul

As an MTV correspondent, Serena Altschul was most likely to go after harder hitting topics on shows like True Life and Breaking it Down, so it's not much of a surprise that she's ended up in a more straightforward news-oriented position. She was named a contributing correspondent for CBS in 2003, and has appeared on CBS Sunday Morning since 2008.

According to her official CBS biography, Altschul also worked briefly at CNN in 2001, and produced and hosted a one-hour CNN Presents special on the return of PCP in 2012. She lives in NYC and posts adorable photos of her baby daughter and dog to her Instagram account.


The curly-haired, glasses-wearing Kennedy (real name Lisa Kennedy Montgomery) was a regular, occasionally controversial presence during her stint as an MTV VJ from 1992 to 1997. Her career has since taken a turn for the political, and she's now the host of a Fox Business Network primetime show aptly titled Kennedy.

According to her official bio, Kennedy joined FBN after hosting programs on Fox Reality Channel and the Gameshow Network. Kennedy explained to Cosmopolitan magazine in 2016 that she's a libertarian, and the show is "a quirky political talk show where I get to keep an eye on people who are inhibiting others' freedom and talk with interesting people about subjects that we find mutually fascinating, like music, parenting, economic liberty ..."

In 2013, Kennedy also published a behind-the-scenes memoir about her time at MTV and the pivotal music moments she witnessed and sometimes played a part in. You can keep up with all her going-ons at her Twitter page.

La La Anthony

With all the media buzz these days about La La Anthony's split from NBA superstar Carmelo Anthony, it's easy to forget that she got her start as La La Vasquez, MTV VJ and host of TRL from 2002 to 2004.

After leaving MTV, La La went on to become Mrs. Anthony in 2010 (the couple's wedding was aired as part of a VH1 series La La's Full Court Wedding), appear as herself in numerous TV shows and movies, and befriend the Kardashians. She also somehow found time to write not one, but two books: 2014's New York Times bestseller The Love Playbook: Rules for Love, Sex, and Happiness; and 2015's The Power Playbook: Rules for Independence, Money and Success.

No matter what, you can't say she hasn't been busy. She regularly posts to her millions of Instagram and Twitter followers, so you can go ahead and try and keep up.

Dave Holmes

Dave Holmes may have come in second place to Jesse Camp in the first Wanna be a VJ competition, but he still managed to score a gig as a regular co-host on TRL and other MTV shows, like Say What? Karaoke, until 2001. After coming out in 2002, Holmes recorded a video for the "It Gets Better" project and candidly discussed his experiences being gay in multiple interviews.

These days, he's a writer-at-large for Esquire and Vulture, where he writes about politics and pop culture. He's been acting a little (perhaps most memorably on Reno 911) and has appeared as a host on FX, E!, and VH1. For even more Holmes, you can turn to his highly personal 2016 memoir entitled Party of One: A Memoir in 21 Songs, and also his Instagram feed and Twitter page.

Thalia DaCosta

Then-21-year-old Thalia DaCosta won the second Wanna be a VJ contest in 1999. At the time, DaCosta told People, "I just won a contest for being myself...I was really a struggling, starving artist yesterday. And today, I have... a really well-paying job." She got to co-host TRL for a year, after which she left hosting to work behind the cameras. According to her LinkedIn profile, she's been working regularly as a freelance casting producer since 2012.

Today, you can also keep up with DaCosta through her Twitter page.