Candi Carter has worked at some of daytime TV’s best-known programs, including “The Oprah Winfrey Show.” Now she’s promoting a technology she thinks will help those shows navigate the economics of a much tougher era.
“All people are talking about is budgets, especially in syndication,” she says, with many producers asking, “How can we make more money outside of ad sales?” Her answer? E-commerce.
Carter has joined Knocking.com, an e-commerce production company, as its chief content officer. She hopes to use three decades of experience in creating content and developing business plans to work with media companies to add shoppable segments and content to their offerings. Knocking helps develop segments featuring products and collaborates with media companies to offer analytics, data about transactions, back-end capabilities, and other production needs.
“Oprah gave away things. We made brands. We took brands from nothing to a place where they were huge,” Carter says. “Imagine if the capability of e-commerce today had been there. Oprah would have been like Amazon.”
Many media entities have been experimenting with so-called “shoppable TV.” NBCUniversal has burnished its capabilities in the area, weaving some small and medium-sized advertisers into TV and web content. NBC’s “Today” has extended into online shopping, as has ABC’s “Good Morning America.” The technology even came to the Super Bowl this year, with cryptocurrency exchange Coinbase running a controversial commercial featuring only a floating QR code against a dark background. Viewers who used their phones were taken to a company web site.
Weaving shopping and content together has “become part of the zeitgeist,” says Carter, and she believes the concept has gained more traction with consumers staying at home during the coronavirus pandemic.
The job puts Carter in a very different place. Over the years, she has worked with Ice-T and Tyler Perry; crafted documentaries and town halls; and ran her own production company.
Her departure from “Tamron Hall Show” captured notice and caught some people by surprise. But Carter says her leaving for a development deal with ABC Disney Entertainment was her choice. “I have the utmost respect for [Tamron Hall]. I have no hard feelings. I think that it’s her show and I think that she should have what she wants for that show and I respect that,” says Carter. She says she’s proud of helping to get “Tamron Hall” back into a studio during coronavirus and wishes the show’s new executive producer, Quiana Burns, well. “I thought she was a great choice to step in when I transitioned off the show because she and Tamron worked together at MSNBC and she’s an amazing person and friend.”
Carter will likely strike up new relationships. Knocking has worked with Disney, iHeartMedia, Cox Media Group, Sinclair Broadcasting Group, NBC Owned Television Stations and the Weather Group, among others.
“Candi is a storyteller. Her vision and deep relationships in the media industry will only enhance the quality partnerships that Knocking is known for,” said Brian Meehan, COO of Knocking, in a statement “Candi will help Knocking deliver the best experiences in this ecosystem—from our media partners to the brands to the consumer.”