American Morning

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June 12th, 2009
11:35 AM ET

Meet AM: Matt Arnold – Senior editor/producer

Matt Arnold finishes his editing on the day’s piece.

Matt Arnold finishes his editing on the day’s piece.

Each Friday in “Meet AM,” we’ll introduce you to the people who get American Morning to air.

This week, we’d like you to meet Matt Arnold. Matt is the senior editor/producer who works with American Morning. You see his work nearly every day in the pieces that our correspondents report, or the short soundbites that we air after an interview. Matt has worked with American Morning since the day it started seven and a half years ago.

How did you end up doing what you do?
I started out in a very broad TV field in college and one day my advisor told me that I had great creativity when it came to post-production. I found a love for it when I started co-producing and editing a TV show called “2 The Xtreme” in local broadcast. While producing that show, I was also freelancing here at CNN. It was only 6 months before CNN hired me full-time.

Describe your average day:
Usually the night before, I get a call from the editors’ supervisor alerting me to our edit in the morning. I wake up early and start thinking, in the car on my way to work, about the ways to be creative in putting together the piece. After arriving at work, the AP I work with, Erica, tells me what video and graphics we have in the system. I look at the script and gather all the tapes in the edit bay. I then start the creative process of constructing the piece. I like to put together the piece with extra time to spare so I can watch it through thoroughly and make it extra-compelling. I look at my job as making an already interesting story sing. So I am trying to do that while I edit the piece. Sometimes with the material that we have, it can be difficult. But we do well. Sometimes during the show, I am also asked to cut smaller soundbites from interviews the anchors conducted, or new video that we have just gotten in. After the show, I work on pieces that are for the next day, or other shows. Then I go home and get ready to do it all again.

What's the hardest part of your job?
The hardest part of my job is trying to come up with creative ways in which to cover scripts that are lacking ample video. Sometimes stories are really interesting, but they might not have interesting video, if any video at all. So, I have to work extra-hard to let viewers see how really compelling these stories are.

What do you like most about working with AM?
I like the people I work with. There is such a range of personalities that I get to work with on a daily basis that not only are they very friendly to work with, but it keeps my job interesting. Erica is one of a couple of people that I work with on the show who goes above and beyond every day and is very eager to put the most captivating story on air. So it makes my job that much easier.

What do you do outside of work? What do you do for fun?
I have an addiction to two wheels. I mountain bike, I dirt bike, and I race street bikes. I also enjoy hanging out with my family. I have a son, Jack, who is really starting to enjoy riding dirt bike with me so we are going to a motocross track this weekend in Connecticut. I also DJ private parties, which I really enjoy. It keeps me up to date with all the current music, which I then can bring back to the pieces I edit.

What else do you think people should know about you?
1. I like potato chips in my peanut butter and jelly sandwich.
2. “Go big or go home” (a quote by Mikey Biggs) – if you’re not going to give it your all, don’t try at all. Nothing is worth doing unless your heart is in it.


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