Get to know the CNET family: Q&A with Kent German

Meet one of CNET's OGs, who is obsessed with planes.

Lee Koo Community manager / CNET
Kent German Former senior managing editor / features
Kent was a senior managing editor at CNET News. A veteran of CNET since 2003, he reviewed the first iPhone and worked in both the London and San Francisco offices. When not working, he's planning his next vacation, walking his dog or watching planes land at the airport (yes, really).
Kent German
5 min read
James Martin/CNET

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Hello, CNET readers and members, I hope this article find everyone well and in good spirits!  Today in another series of "Getting to know the CNET family," I have with me Mr. Kent German, one of CNET's OGs (original gangster.)

I've worked with Kent since our site was painted green and yellow, and with Kent having a whopping 3200-plus pieces of CNET editorial content under his belt, I think the title "OG" fits him quite nicely. I remember when Kent was mostly involved in reviewing new mobile phones, often times his desk was not only littered with the latest phones, but there were equally as many small scale model airplanes scattered across his desk--looking like a collision course between phones and planes. Why all the planes? Keep reading on and you'll soon find out. Here's Kent:

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


 Enjoying the best of Germany.

Eric Enders

A: I'm a Senior Managing Editor at CNET, currently based in our London office. There I manage CNET's editorial coverage in the UK and Europe and work with our other London editors to keep the site running while our US staff is asleep. Throughout the year, I also direct our coverage of Mobile World Congress, IFA and other UK and European events. Though I don't get a lot of time to write, I cover mobile (my first beat at CNET) and aviation (my true passion) when I can.

Since our first issue in late 2014, I also spend a lot of time as one of the editorial leaders of CNET Magazine. That includes planning the layout of each issue, assigning and editing stories, assigning photography and illustrations, and reviewing pages before they go to the printer.

Q: What's a fun fact about you related to work?

A: I've been lucky enough to work for CNET in two countries, starting at our headquarters in San Francisco and then moving to the London office for a few years when my husband got a job in the UK. The new opportunities that move gave me, both at work and in my personal life, have been incredible. Just as important, my colleagues in both places are awesome people. I'll never forget the day when as part of my "British education" a group of people in the London office watched me eat my first pork pie. They also explain British slang and pop culture, and I've gotten them hooked on American traditions like Thanksgiving (aka "Britsgiving").

Enlarge Image

Inside British Airways's A380 hangar at London's Heathrow Airport

Andrew Hoyle/CNET

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

A: I'm eight time zones away from both my editor and many of the colleagues that I need to speak to almost every day. That means when I'm thinking of happy hour at 5:00 p.m., everyone in San Francisco is just sipping their morning coffee. Though I tend to work a later day because of that, it's still difficult keep the lines of communication open. I also have a hard time shutting down for the day when the emails are pouring in as midnight in London approaches.

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

A: I've been able to visit incredible places on the job and witness things that I'll remember forever. I've captained a cruise ship in a huge simulator, visited a mind-boggling model airport in Hamburg, Germany, and followed the Airbus A380 convoy through southern France. Just last month, I reported from the Paris Air Show, an event I've wanted to attend since I was a kid. Back in the office, my favorite day is watching a box of newly printed CNET Magazines arrive.

Q: What was the first tech gadget you owned?

A: My first phone was a Nokia 5110. By today's standards it does barely anything, but it represented Nokia at its best. The battery lasted forever, it was easy to use, and it was indestructible.

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Boeing's 787-10 at the Paris Air Show.

Andrew Hoyle/CNET

Q: Favorite CNET tech tip?

A: Like whatever gadget or brand you like, even if it's unpopular to the masses or isn't the newest thing on the market. We spend too much time obsessing about brand loyalty and arguing with each other about whether Apple, Samsung, Microsoft or whatever is "best." Be a fan without being a fanboy.

Q: What's your favorite TV show?

A: On the air: "The Americans." Off the air: "The Golden Girls."

Q: What's the best/worst gift you've ever given or received?

A: The best would be a safety card from the Concorde. My husband bought it for me online after the aircraft stopped flying. I can't think of a worst.

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

A: "Airplane!" But I say that with absolutely no guilt whatsoever.

Watch this: The world's largest model airport is incredible

Q: What's your favorite CNET video?

A: The video I shot of the world's biggest model airport in Hamburg.

Q: What is your favorite quote and why?

A: It's a quote from the 1971 film "Harold and Maude." "Harold, everyone has a right to make an ass out of themselves. You can't let the world judge you too much." I don't always follow this advice, but I do love its spirit. Some of us spend a lot of time thinking about what other people think of us when we make mistakes. Instead, be nice to yourself, especially when you're not at your best.

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

A: Loading baggage on planes at an airport or studying volcanoes.

Q: Where do you like to vacation?

A: Greece, Australia and Berlin are my current favorites. London will go back on the list once I move away.


 Celebrating Britsgiving with CNET's London crew

Kent German/CNET

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

A: Sitting under the redwoods on California's Russian River during a summer evening with my husband and friends from home, while enjoying a bottle of local Pinot Noir.

Q: What is your favorite food?

A: Tacos, burgers and fries and most anything Greek.

Q: What advice would you give your younger self?

A: If someone in your life doesn't treat you well and doesn't want the best for you, don't bother with them.

Q: What's on your bucket list?

A: Visit every state capitol building.

Well, folks, there you have it: Kent German has landed! I hope you enjoyed his Q&A and learned more about him. If you're addicted to airplanes and the love the movie "Airplane!", your friendship would take off in a jiffy. Wanna talk shop about phones or anything to do with aviation? Hit Kent up in the comments section. Thank you, Kent for your time, and thank you all for reading. Cheers!