Jawn Murray

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Jawn Murray
Born Jawn Murray
(1977-04-21) April 21, 1977 (age 38)
Warrenton, Virginia, USA
Occupation Entertainment Journalist & Pop Culture Expert
Notable credit(s) AOL Black Voices, Tom Joyner Morning Show, HLN, TV One
Website http://www.JawnMurray.com

Jawn Murray (born April 21, 1977)[1] is a Washington, DC-based American entertainment journalist and pop culture expert who works in television, radio and digital media. Ebony magazine named him as one of the “30 on the Rise” to watch in the industry, and the NAACP recognized him as one of “40 Power Players Under 40.”


Murray was born in Warrenton, Virginia, before relocating to Falls Church, Virginia. In 1995, he entered Norfolk State University, where he studied Mass Communications.[2] In May 1999, he started an internship at the Washington, DC radio station WPGC 95.5 FM, which kicked off his professional career in the entertainment industry. While working as an intern, mid-host Michel Wright hired Murray to research stories for her on-air entertainment news segment because she recognized his passion for entertainment news.

From there Murray launched an online newsletter called "Garek News" and worked as a freelance writer for magazines like Upscale, Black Elegance and Gospel Today. In February 2002, he launched a column called "Jawn's Juice" for EURweb.com. In July 2003, Murray became an on-air entertainment contributor to the nationally syndicated Doug Banks Morning Show. The radio stint last only one year.[2] E! Entertainment network used Murray as a contributor on their 2003 series Love Chain. He also began became the Entertainment Editor of the men's magazine Smooth.

In 2004, he appeared on the E! specials Hollywood Wives' Tales and Relatively Famous.[3] In March 2004, Murray was hired by the New York Daily News to do vacation relief for the columnists "Rush & Molloy." The one-time gig turned into an ongoing relationship with the New York Daily News, which used Murray in that capacity for nearly three years before making him a freelance stringer until mid-2010.

In September 2004, Murray debuted his "BV Buzz" column for the newly launched AOL Black Voices while simultaneously writing "Jawn's Juice" for EURweb.com. Penning both columns became taxing on him and he penned his farewell column for EURweb.com in March 2005. Also in 2005, Murray became a regular analyst on the nationally syndicated news magazine show America's Black Forum. He and movie journalist Shawn Edwards became "America's Black Forum's" resident film experts.

In September 2006, Murray made his first appearance on the nationally syndicated Tom Joyner Morning Show radio program. That segment led to Murray being offered a permanent slot on the then top-rated program. In October 2006, Murray appeared weekly and in 2007 bi-weekly on what would be nearly a five-year run on the TJMS.[4]

In 2010, Murray became a regular expert on the TV One bio series, Life After. He was featured on episodes about Ruben Studdard, Elise Neal, Malcolm-Jamal Warner, Karrine Steffans and Mark Curry. That same year, both CNN and its sister channel HLN began using Murray as a pop culture expert for shows like CNN's Newsroom with Kyra Phillips and HLN's Joy Behar Show.[5]

On January 13, 2011, Murray announced while hosting a showcase for EMI Gospel in Nashville, Tennessee, during the Stellar Awards weekend that he was launching a digital talent competition for 10 unsigned artists for EMI Gospel. The project was called "Jawn Murray presents Untapped" and Murray was the executive producer for the compilation.[4]

On April 12, 2011 the media personality revealed he would be exiting AOL Black Voices following AOL's merger with The Huffington Post. He wrote in his final column: "Though there was an opportunity for me at the new Black Voices following the Huffington Post merger with AOL, I've decided to close this chapter of my life and explore some other things. As my friend (and technically my boss for five years) Karu F. Daniels always says: 'When it's time to go, it's time to go!'"[6] Murray was with AOL Black Voices almost seven years and reportedly was one of the company's top traffic generators.

On Tuesday June 14, 2011, Murray appeared for the last time on the Tom Joyner Morning Show. He resigned following his appearance that day and never publicly acknowledged why he chose to leave the show. The show also never addressed his departure on-air, but confirmed rumors about his homosexuality and attempt to seduce co-host J. Anthony Brown are available in the social media.[4]

During the summer of 2011, Murray continued doing regular appearances on HLN shows such as News Now, Issues with Jane Velez-Mitchell and Prime News. On September 13, 2011, his CD "Jawn Murray presents Untapped" was released and debuted on in the Top 40 on Billboard′s Gospel Chart. That fall, he appeared on season three of TV One's Life After series. Murray offered commentary on Life After episodes on Jackee Harry, Kim Coles, Jayne Kennedy and A.J. Johnson.

In the spring of 2012, Murray worked as a casting judge on BET's faith-based music competition series Sunday Best. He traveled to audition cities Dallas, Washington, Atlanta, and St. Louis to help cast contestants for the show. This was his fourth year working in that capacity.

In addition to his multimedia journalism endeavors, Murray is also a tastemaker, social media enthusiast and brand strategist. Murray is sought by Fortune 500 companies and marketing companies for his expertise for pop culture appeal. Grey Goose selected him as one of their 2010 “Archetype 25” honorees – 25 people who have carved a chunk in the world for themselves![7]


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