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H G H HIIIG GH HS SEEEAAASSS P PAAARRRTTTNNNEEERRRSSS FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE Monday, June 28, 2010 Contact: Brian Henderson Director, Media Relations (313) 444-4732 SALT LAKE NATIVE, U OF U GRAD RISING FAST IN OPRAH'S SEARCH FOR NEW NATIONAL TALK SHOW HOST SALT LAKE CITY, UT -- Salt Lake City native and University of Utah journalism graduate Lauren Johnson is chasing her dream to win a job hosting a national talk show on Oprah Winfrey's OWN TV network, and Oprah fans nationwide are rapidly taking note of her talent. Johnson's video application was posted to Oprah's website just last Friday (, or, and search for “Lauren Johnson�). In just three days, her video has become among the fastest rising vote getters in the competition, with an invitation to Los Angeles awaiting the top 5 vote getters and other applicants who catch producers' eyes by the close of voting at 11:59pm PST on Saturday, July 3. Johnson, an award-winning journalist who has been recognized for her news reporting in eastern Idaho for the past year and a half, is inspiring thousands of voters nationwide who relate to her engaging and warm personality and her personal story of triumph over Multiple Sclerosis. "I come from a family of storytellers," says Johnson. "I've been preparing my entire life for this opportunity. I'd love for Oprah, a personal hero of mine, to see that". She credits her diagnosis with MS in 2004 with giving her the courage to find and share others' stories of overcoming obstacles. "My diagnosis was frightening," says Johnson. "I was only 24. I decided in those dark days that I would merely have MS, rather than let MS have me. Besides, I had too many stories to find and tell-including my own." It's a passion that has taken her to all 50 states before her 30 birthday, and some exotic overseas destinations. "Give me a th

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H G H HIIIG GH HS SEEEAAASSS P PAAARRRTTTNNNEEERRRSSS microphone, an audience, and a guest," says Johnson, "and it just happens-a compelling conversation. It's probably a combination of my passion for storytelling and my compassion for my guests. I think my challenges have helped me understand how to help people explore their own stories in a way that interests viewers." It's a talent tailor-made for a talk show. Johnson hopes that thousands more people will vote for her video online and help Oprah's OWN TV team see that in her as well. "It's literally my life dream to follow in Oprah's footsteps," says Johnson. "Every vote before the end of Saturday will get me closer." Ms. Johnson is available for TV, Radio, Print and Blog interviews until the competition's online voting closes at 11:59pm on Saturday, July 3. #303030#

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Press Release: Lauren Johnson, SLC Native, Rising Fast In Oprah's Search for Talk Show Host