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Television producer Candi Carter ’91
In this business, you have to move fast.” Candi Carter laughs and jogs down a flight of stairs inside ABC’s studios on Manhattan’s Upper West Side, navigates a maze of hallways and doors, and walks past a bodyguard out onto a floodlit stage in front of a studio audience that has no idea who she is. It’s a couple of minutes until the next segment of The View goes live, and Carter is the executive producer.
She talks with Whoopi Goldberg and Joy Behar (two of the show’s five cohosts) to confirm the segment’s topics, then hugs the day’s guest, journalist Meredith Vieira, here to promote a documentary about the 1966 University of Texas shootings. Upstairs in the control room—to which Carter returns at a jog—a dozen technicians solemnly monitor a wall of screens and countdown clocks, preparing to knit the segment together. Carter’s job is to make sure it all works: There are no second takes in live TV.
“I’ve always been determined, focused, get-it-done; I’m the chick who always has a solution,” Carter says later in her office. (“It was [View creator] Barbara Walters’s office,” she adds as she plops onto a sofa—where she sometimes catches a quick nap between her 5:00 a.m. workout and the start of the workday.) Raised in New Hampshire, Carter came to Boston College on an athletics scholarship. A long-, high-, and triple-jumper, she holds school records and was 1991 Eagle of the Year. An aspiring newscaster, she studied communication, but her athletics schedule kept her from taking internships. After graduation she moved to Atlanta (she’d “heard it was a hot city” for TV journalism), and took an unpaid internship at CNN and part-time work as a telemarketer, until the cable TV company hired her into an entry-level job. When her parents moved to Wisconsin, Carter knocked on doors at Milwaukee TV stations. The ABC affiliate offered her a senior production position. “I had never produced a show in my life!” Carter confides. “So,” she says, “I taught myself.”
Carter went on to produce The Oprah Winfrey Show for 15 years and arrived at The View in September 2015. It’s been a tumultuous year, with changes to the cast and the show’s signature political chats challenged by the divisive national mood.
Ratings are up, notes the Hollywood Reporter. “My motto is, ‘We’re impeccable, we’re respectful, and we have fun,'” Carter says. “And then we go home to spend time with our families”—she is married with two children—”because at the end of the day, they’re why we go to work.”
Tim Heffernan is a writer in New York City.