Meet the Only TMZ.com Staffer with a Byline

Who is Johnny Lopez? He’s a writer-producer at TMZ who has been on board with Harvey Levin since the website’s earliest days.

He’s also basically the only guy, besides Harvey, who gets to byline items at TMZ.com rather than be herded under the generic moniker of “TMZ staff.” This morning, his latest blurb is about how last night’s American Idol telecast dealt with Lady Gaga‘s clear-plastic penis heels:

When Gaga appeared on the show, producers smacked an Idol logo over her sexually explicit stilettos because they each had a Lucite penis for a heel. The porno pumps by London fashion brand Void of Course may be racy but they ain’t cheap… They retail for over $4500.

Lopez was able to contractually guarantee himself the byline somewhere along the way. From the get go, as part of its overall attempts to brand the TMZ name, Time Warner and formerly AOL nixed individual non-Harvey slugs.