One of the ORIGINAL MTV VeeJays back in 1981 along with Nina Blackwood, Mark Goodman, Alan Hunter, and J.J. Jackson!
On July 13, 1981, Quinn was working at NYU‘s Weinstein Dormitory where she answered phones and gave students their toilet paper, mail, and lightbulbs. At the end of her day she decided to stop at WNBC (AM), where she’d just finished up interning for her senior year. Coincidentally, California record company executive Burt Stein also was visiting WNBC. He asked out loud if anyone knew what Bob Pittman was doing. Pittman had been the program director of WNBC a year or so earlier, but had left to start a new venture: a cable channel called MTV (Music Television). WNBC assistant program director Buzz Brindle overheard Stein’s question and remembered the new venture. He turned to Quinn and suggested that she should try out for a role at the new network as a VJ. Brindle called Pittman and told him about his former intern, Quinn. Pittman told him to get her to the MTV studios immediately, as it was the last day of auditions. Quinn immediately took a cab to Hell’s Kitchen for her audition. Brindle’s idea had some merit. Quinn had spent much of her time at New York University doing two things: performing in TV commercials (McDonald’s first Chicken McNuggets girl, Country Time Lemonade, Clearasil, Campbell’s Soup) and working at WNYU-FM, the college radio station. Quinn would later lament that her father and stepmother, financial columnist Jane Bryant Quinn, had spent their money for Martha to spin Peter, Paul, and Mary vinyl as the host of Just Plain Folk.
Quinn entered the studio knowing nothing about MTV or what its producers expected of her. She did a four-minute audition where she talked about Earth, Wind, and Fire; MTV executives immediately surrounded her, asking, “Who are you? Where did you come from? How old are you?” Quinn was stunned, realizing she had just found the perfect job for her talents. Two days later Quinn got the news she was an MTV VJ.
Quinn joined Mark Goodman, Nina Blackwood, Alan Hunter and JJ Jackson as original faces and voices of MTV. Being hosts of the nation’s first music television network provided them with an in-depth and up-close perspective on the most popular rock/pop music and artists of the 1980s.
In 1986, Quinn took part in the then World Wrestling Federation WWE Slammy Awards conducting interviews backstage.
Quinn initially left MTV at the end of her contract in late 1986. However, she was rehired by the network in early 1989 and stayed with the channel until 1992.