In his first episode, he was seen reading a threatening letter from an anonymous source insulting various Beverly Hills "rich kids". Griffin saw it as a satire while Andrea disagreed, citing it as twisted. John seemed to be amused at the "Phantom Pen Pal", especially after the letters began to get darker and more threatening towards the rich kids. He clashed with Andrea and Brandon on the issue, stating that he wished to print the letters while they wanted to go to the police. The culprit was later revealed to be Emily.
He was next seen coming to Andrea wanting to cover a story about The Hartley House, which Entertainment Tonight was reporting may have a reunion show. He wanted to interview Chuck Wilson, the child star who was then attending West Beverly Hills High School. He wanted to know why Chuck got thrown out of his last three schools and wanted to dig into the relationship between Chuck and Steve Sanders. However, Andrea took his idea and gave it to Brandon because Griffin couldn't be trusted to report sensitively. After Steve and Chuck got into a fight, John wanted to dig into the cause, but Brandon found it too personal to print. John was upset and told Brandon he'd never make it on a college paper with his attitude.
John was later seen during news coverage. he tried to call Andrea to tell her it was on, but looked irritated that she was at Brandon's house. John was clearly behind Andrea as she went against the school board when a health survey was cancelled and she believed they needed to listen to the teenagers of the world.
He was later supportive of Andrea as they focused on handing out flyers with information on AIDS and safe sex, irritating Brandon without consulting him. John later attended the board meeting with Andrea, where her motion was shot down.
He later confessed he was a virgin to Andrea, at which point she asked him on a date. He accepted and was not seen on the show again.