The Ohio State University Alumni Association

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Courtesy of Phil Mattingly

Comfortable in the hot seat

Phil Mattingly ’06, now known for his election-week appearances on CNN, where he’s a Congressional correspondent, learned teamwork while playing baseball for the Buckeyes and churning out news at The Lantern.

Phil Mattingly ’06 is used to having a camera on him as a CNN correspondent, but he isn’t someone who needs to be the focus of attention.

This is evident in Mattingly’s ego-free response to the national praise directed at him from pundits and viewers for his work in the cable network’s Presidential election coverage, especially in his concise, informative and easy-to-understand explanations of the CNN Electoral Map.

“I’m very, very lucky in that we have a great team,” Mattingly says.

A team mindset comes in part from Mattingly participating in multiple sports growing up in the Village of Ottawa Hills near Toledo, Ohio. He went on to play three seasons of baseball for the Buckeyes.

Mattingly also learned an appreciation for teamwork from the communal pay-forward spirit that he experienced as a student at Ohio State, where he earned an English degree and jumpstarted his journalism career as a reporter for The Lantern during his final two semesters.

“There are so many smart people at Ohio State who are willing to help you,” Mattingly says. “Everyone was willing to help out. I think I’ve taken that wherever I’ve gone, both in how I approach mentors, of which I’ve been lucky to have a lot, but also how I approach people who ask me for advice. I think back a lot to the folks who helped me at Ohio State.”

Mattingly heard from a lot of his fellow Buckeyes — on social media and by email and texts — during the week of the election as he worked nearly around the clock over a five-day period, often on camera, as Americans watched the extraordinary events unfold.

“The coolest thing is the number of people — from as far away as France, Italy, Australia — who reached out to say stuff,” Mattingly says. “And at the very end they’d say, ‘Oh, by the way, I’m a Buckeye,’ or ‘Go Bucks.’

“I’m always keenly aware of the global reach of our alumni association. You can go pretty much anywhere and if you’re wearing an Ohio State shirt, someone is going to yell out ‘O-H’ to you, and I immediately yell back ‘I-O.’”

Learn more about Mattingly in this video interview with Ohio State Alumni Magazine.

Video: Matt Stoessner / Interview: Todd Jones