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Get to know CNET family: Q&A with Morgan Harrelson

A fitness nut whose weakness is peanut butter M&Ms.

James Martin/CNET

Take a look behind the scenes at CNET to get to know some of our staff members better and learn what they do to make our site a success.

Hello, CNET readers and community members! I'm back with another edition of the "Get to know the CNET family" series. In today's installment, I'm going to introduce to you Morgan Harrelson, the runner, surfer and musician. If you are subscribed to any CNET newsletter, you can thank Morgan for ensuring those newsletters are delivered to your inbox on time. I'll be the first to tell you when he cracks his whip, my newsletters get done. ;-) 

In all seriousness, Morgan is a down-to-earth guy who is super cool and always listens attentively (at least to me).  He just recently came back from visiting parts of Europe for the first time and I think he is hooked--talking about how he may consider living there. (Dude don't leave us hanging here!) He loves running and is very health conscious, now if only those good habits rubbed off on me, but this isn't about me, it's about Morgan, and here he is:


The M&Ms next to my desk

Morgan Harrelson/CNET

Q: What's your job title and what do you do?

A: Email Production Manager. I help manage CNET's email marketing business. This entails helping to make sure our many emails go out on time, without any errors. 

Q: What is the most challenging part of your job?

A: Sitting at a desk next to an unlimited supply of peanut butter M&Ms. No joke. 

Q: What is the most rewarding aspect of your job? 

A: Learning from my team, skills that will benefit me throughout my career. I'm surrounded by experts in their fields. From email marketing to product to customer service. The people at CNET take pride in their jobs and work extremely hard. I'm continually exposed to best practices and I'm constantly learning... Oh, and the peanut butter M&M's..

Q: What's the most influential tech item in your life?

A: My phone. This is sometimes unfortunate, as I see the addiction to phones to be a big societal problem, but being that it houses my email accounts, an audio recording device, music player, camera, etc., this is my go-to device for many of the most important things in my life.

My alarm clock that's older than most employees at CNET

Morgan Harrelson/CNET

Q: What was the first tech gadget you owned?

A: When I was 5, my twin brother and I purchased an alarm clock at the local Thrifty (now CVS and Rite Aid) drug store. To this day, the alarm clock is on my bedside cabinet and still functions perfectly!

Q: Besides your phone, what's the tech item you can't live without?

A: My MacBook! 

  • It syncs perfectly with my iPhone. 
  • I work on freelance projects and run the adobe creative suite. The experience has been much better on a Mac.
  • I also run music editing software, like Reason or ProTools. In the past I experienced a ton of latency issues when recording multiple tracks, but since moving to a Mac, that problem has been a thing of the past.

Q: Are you a Mac or PC person?

A: I was a PC person, when I couldn't afford a Mac, but now I can and I'm definitely more of a Mac person.

Q: Favorite CNET tech tip?

A: Stop playing on your phone, make eye-contact, and smile more.


A local 5k I ran half-assed and finished 3rd

Morgan Harrelson/CNET

Q: When you have some alone time, what would you be doing? 

A: Running, surfing, cycling, playing music, reading, camping.

Q: If you weren't working at CNET, where would you want to be?

A: Working for a nonprofit, doing my part to help alleviate the homeless issues in San Francisco.

Q: Do you have a campy guilty pleasure film? If so, what is it?

A: Bloodsport! "Put up your DUX".

Q: What is your favorite food?

A: Carne asada burrito with sour cream, no salsa, refried beans.


A few of my stringed instruments

Morgan Harrelson/CNET

Q: Do you play any musical instruments?

A: Yes. I've been in several (wannabe Radiohead) bands. I play guitar, banjo, bass, ukulele, mandolin, drums, keyboards and maybe another one or two. 

Q: If you had to pick a place right now, where would you want to be?

A: A warm-water, A-frame wave, with perfect 2-4 ft waves. So -- maybe somewhere in Hawaii, Mexico or some tropical destination. 

Q: What makes you happy?


Three of my surfboards and one of my bikes

Morgan Harrelson/CNET

A: Friendly people.

Well folks, there you have it: my co-worker Morgan Harrelson! I hope you enjoy his Q&A. If you need surfing lessons, a brush up on your musical skills, or running tips, I'm sure all you'd have to do is bring a few bags of peanut butter M&Ms and he'll probably be up for an even trade. Right, Morgan? Thank you all for reading.