Ryan Lytle poses with "Today Show" anchor Matt Lauer. Lytle interned at the "Today Show" in the spring and is now in the running to be MTV's first Twitter jockey.
Jun 30, 2010
Ryan Lytle, the lucky "Today Show" intern who chest bumped Matt Lauer on national television after the Ohio University men's basketball team defeated Georgetown University in the first round of the NCAA men's basketball tournament, will appear on the "Today Show" again around 8:30 a.m. on Friday, July 2, to promote himself in the MTV Twitter jockey contest.
Lytle, a 22-year-old Cincinnati native and 2010 graduate of the E.W. Scripps School of Journalism at Ohio University, is one of 20 candidates vying for a chance to become MTV’s first Twitter jockey, a position that will pay $100,000 a year and change the way MTV reaches its audience. He was one of 18 chosen directly by MTV, while two additional candidates were chosen by fans.
"I’m excited about the opportunity," Lytle said in a phone interview. "I’m really trying to promote myself and to get my name out of there. I hope people like to hear what I have to say. I’d really like to be MTV’s first Twitter jockey."
In order to do that, Lytle has been busy the past few weeks promoting himself on various social media websites. So far, he’s jumped from having 250 to 750 followers on Twitter, a number he hopes to push to 1000 by his Friday "Today Show" appearance.
He’s also preparing to actively compete in a series of Twitter-based challenges from July 7 to July 20. At that point, five candidates will move on to the final challenge in New York City. The MTV Twitter jockey will be determined by viewer votes during a live televised show on Aug. 8.
"It’s important for the audience to be involved because it’s an audience-based competition," Lytle said. "I’m really just trying to be available to anybody who wants to talk to me."
Lytle credits his education and the internship experiences he had as an undergraduate at Ohio University for helping him to catch the eyes of MTV producers.
"Everyone who helped me to succeed at Scripps is responsible for what I’m doing now," Lytle said. "The entire Scripps family has been helpful, and I’m grateful to all of the opportunities that have gotten to me to where I am right now."
Alumni and Internship Coordinator Tina Stewart, who helped Lytle with internships at The Cincinnati Enquirer, WashingtonPost.com and the "Today Show," said his personality bodes well for a job in which interacting with others via social media is a main duty.
"Ryan is a really great guy," Stewart said. "He’s down to earth and likeable. He’s hardworking. And, on top of all of that, he’s incredibly talented."
To view Lytle’s bio and Q and A with MTV, visit http://tj.mtv.com/2010/06/09/tj-bio-ryan-l*. To read his blog, visit http://www.ryanlytle.com/*. To help him in his quest to be the first MTV Twitter jockey, follow him on Twitter http://twitter.com/rlytle* or friend him on Facebook*.