From ATV to U.N.: Denver Alumnus Produces International News
As a freshman, Michael Mazzocco, SPA/BA ’01, thought that after he finished his degree, he would either run for office or join a consulting firm. Little did he know, his extracurricular time spent at student-run television station ATV would change his career path dramatically.
As the first-ever freshman general manager of ATV, Mazzocco fueled his interest in television production by building a knowledge base that eventually led to a career in television. He says he also, “met life-long friends while working there. We have gone in different directions, all of us successful in different fields, but we each found ourselves during our time at AU.”
Mazzocco began his career in local news. He worked as an assistant producer at a news radio program, then transitioned to a position as a reporter with a local station.As a reporter, Mazzocco had the opportunity to report from the United Nations in New York City where he was able to build relationships with many international news outlets.
He quickly learned that the traditional role of a television reporter is a thing of the past, and decided to find a way to embrace the new opportunities afforded by technology rather than allow the industry to grow around him.
Mazzocco decided to utilize the relationships he developed during his time at the United Nations to begin his own news production company, MMN Productions.He now works with foreign news outlets to provide on the ground staff and timely news reports from all over the United States using a network of freelance reporters and producers.
“There are a lot of balls in the air all the time.When you run your own business, there really is no average day,” he explains, “and when your business is centered around the news, there is definitely no such thing as an average day.”
One advantage to running a company that utilizes new media and technology is that Mazzocco is not constrained by geography. He has spent time living in New York and Chicago, and just recently moved to Denver with his wife, Jessica.
When searching for a way to better get to know his new city, Mazzocco turned to the AU Alumni Chapter in Denver. He saw that the chapter leader position was vacant, and decided to apply for the position. He sees his new role as chapter leader as an ideal way to build a network of friends in Denver, and to learn more about his new surroundings.
Mazzocco admits to being shocked by how many AU alumni live in the Denver area.“It’s nice to feel that I have more in common with people in Denver than I thought I did,” says Mazzocco.“I am eager to meet my fellow alumni at our chapter events and thankful for the excuse to explore my surroundings further.”