American Morning

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July 3rd, 2009
12:03 PM ET

Meet AM: Michelle Cumbo – Producer/Editorial Producer

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

[cnn-photo-caption image= caption="Michelle's responsibilities range from booking guests to segment producing."]

Today, we’d like you to meet Michelle Cumbo.  Michelle is a producer/editorial producer.  This means she’s always busy looking at guest segments, finding the best guests to illustrate the news for the day and crafting the questions and topics to be addressed with these guests.  Michelle has a wonderful personality and is often cheering up people at the office with her singing.  She’s been with AM for seven years.

How did you end up doing what you do?

I was always a better writer than a mathematician. I always had a love for the English language and writing.  I got into television when my brother was in college taking a summer school course in TV production.  He had to produce a how-to demonstration segment.  So my mom said, “Why don’t you have your little sister cook?” I made these Italian cookies called pizelles.  It was horrible. I was so nervous but I loved the production side, and got more involved from there.  Now my brother is a freelance technical director who travels and works on sports material, and I’m at AM.

Describe your average day:

It’s always changing depending on what I do.  Some days I anchor produce, some days I segment produce [crafting segments and suggesting questions for the next day’s interviews]. Some days I’m booking guests.  I start off by reading all the newspapers and wires I can, getting familiar with what happened overnight or during the day, depending on when I come in.  Then I go on to see what’s interesting for today, and pitch segments.  I’ll get acquainted with the segments that I’m involved in – try and find best guests for a topic, researching guests, that kind of thing.  I’m really thinking about pegging stuff to the breaking news of the day and who is the best guest to get the info across to people.

What's the hardest part of your job?

The hardest part is when there’s a breaking news story.  Sometimes, every network is going after the same guest and you have to convince a guest why CNN is the best network to tell their story.  There’s a competitive factor and it can be difficult.

What do you like most about working at AM?

It sounds cliché but I work with an amazing group of people.  Aside from the people, it’s never boring working here.

What do you do outside of work?  What do you do for fun?

I love to cook, bake and entertain.  [Note: she is a really good baker!]

What else do you think people should know about you?

I love breaking into spontaneous show tunes.  And I’m a HUGE supporter of my hometown, Buffalo – go Bills!

Filed under: American Morning • Meet AM
soundoff (7 Responses)
  1. Diane

    Hi Michelle!

    It's so exciting to see your face again! From the days of AM Buffalo when I was just an intern, I have thought of you so many times over the years. You inspired me to become a Producer (although I no longer with in the field).

    Diane Kozak

    January 23, 2010 at 4:45 am |
  2. Ranger

    It's so interesting to learn about the miracle workers behind the scenes!

    July 7, 2009 at 2:59 pm |
  3. ronald

    Tell us viewers the life story of deceased Carl Stokes, Cleveland Mayor.
    I believe that would be a good topic.

    July 6, 2009 at 6:50 am |
  4. ronald

    Have another news topic idea,whether yourselves decide to cover the topic or not,at least suggested it.
    How about America's potential to follow the footsteps of Brazil's success operating vehicles from sugar cane ethanol?
    But, for our nation,we grow sugar beets instead of corn?
    Sugar beets costs less,less processing of energy to create the fuel than corn.
    Corn farmers could still plant corn for its bumper crop profits, federal subsidizes it already earns,but adding sugar beets to the agenda?
    Brazilian President Lula is setting pretty not needing imports of oil.
    Since cars can operate entirely using sugarcane ethanol, or mixture of cane sugar and oil, or only gasoline with its fleet of flex cars,so can our nation.
    The US sugar industry would potentially embrace this idea?
    The corn farmer industry would potentially embrace this idea?
    Government subsidized farming could remain of benefit for all involved, the corn farmer and sugar beet farmer?
    If America does not step up to the plate,would we think that China would do as well?
    If China shall surpass the United States for oil consumption,would not American business wish to cash in that change?
    I believe China would not grow much sugarcane,but could grow sugar beets like the US.
    If America succeeds first, the better results later too.

    July 6, 2009 at 6:48 am |
  5. ronald

    I would like to view some coverage broadcast on CNN about the lady from India,called Vandana Shiva. She is nuclear scientist whom became an anti-globalizationist activist and
    Her presence was shown on PBS,i believe around 2006, about 1300 cotton farmers whom took their lives after depending on Genetically Modified cotton seed.
    How about some topic discussion with herself about her insights to anti-globalization now that during the ending days of President Bush's office, he allowed the exchange of nuclear technology for civilian purposes for India,as well as the potential of big business reaching their country,such as Westinghouse turbines for the nuclear plants,allowing big box retailers into India society where for eons most stores are mom and pop stores and its effects upon Indian culture and society.
    I would like yourselves to create some style of interview of two sides for the same topic,one pro-one contra.
    I want to know if Indian society will accept the type of Walmart stores putting the majority consumer stores out of business as occured in the days of the Walmart beginning here in the US.
    I want you, Michelle Cumbo to consider trying to find out what has occurred with Indian farmers since 2006.
    What do you think? Open minded for some new style of topics for the news?

    July 6, 2009 at 6:35 am |
  6. ronald

    Hello there,Michelle Cumbo
    Having viewed your rigid work schedule,i do not envy the countless hassles of your lifestyle,though wish to provide some insight to what the average viewer may wish to view on CNN broadcasting from my own perspective.
    First, when a newly created media event breaks,upon occasion the event gets blown out of viewer friendly mode. When, Farah Fawcett died, her "news" coverage was only as well presented as the current death of Micheal Jackson to bump her out of the media buss.
    I believe when two individuals become deceased within a very short period of time of each other, you should not decrease the one and blow out the other.

    July 6, 2009 at 6:14 am |
  7. Virginia

    Sarah Palin? Dang, I thought she was going away? Can we hear more about Michael Jackson instead?

    July 6, 2009 at 6:09 am |