How ‘Close Up’ host Kelley Carter became a multi-hyphenate entertainment reporter
In the entertainment industry, there is a term called “multi-hyphenate” which refers to people who can perform, direct, write, produce, sing, and/or perform other crafts. As an entertainment reporter at The Undefeated, Kelley Carter knows that term. She also embodies it as a journalist.
Beyond her text reporting, Carter hosts podcasts — including ABC Audio’s recently launched “Close Up,” which features interviews with the who’s who of Hollywood and releases new episodes on Wednesdays — and is an award-winning video journalist. an Emmy and co-directs a production company that is developing a television show for Showtime.
“Much of it became an accident. I wasn’t necessarily looking to do anything other than what I was doing, which at the time was a newspaper reporter,” Carter said.
His background in print newspapers also helped familiarize Carter with the business side of journalism and the often tenuous terms of reporters’ employment statutes.
While at the Chicago Tribune, she saw other reporters fired for the first time. “Because we had indications that layoffs were coming to Chicago, ironically I was trying to figure out what my plan would be if I got laid off. I was like, ‘What do I want to do?’ said Carter. The apparent answer: Everything.
Here are some highlights from the conversation, which have been edited for length and clarity.
I got a phone call from USA Today, a recruiter there. He said, “Hey, we want to tell you about this work covering entertainment.” So [after traveling to Virginia to interview for the job]I’m going back to work [at the Chicago Tribune] that day and literally so many people I was friends with were fired that day. I got my job offer the following week, so I left. The lesson I learned from that moment was that you shouldn’t necessarily be loyal to anyone but yourself and the integrity of your career.
A professional retraining
I ended up winning two Emmys [for an online documentary about Aretha Franklin’s “Respect”], including a national Emmy. And we were the first newspaper, and I was the first journalist to do that. And it was really an accident and I was just trying to figure out how to do something that I’ve always done but in a different medium. It really changed the course of my career.
Journalism without borders
[The Undefeated] wanted to do journalism without borders. They said they wanted to be content independent. And I was like, “Okay, sign me up.” And I walked away thinking I wanted to do a podcast because at this point, [ESPN journalists Michael Smith] and Jemele [Hill] had this really cool podcast which eventually translated into their TV series which was very popular. And so I wanted to do something similar but in entertainment but at ESPN. I didn’t know how it was going to work, but I knew I wanted a podcast.
‘It’s a lot’
What [Carter and Hill] We knew we wanted to see ourselves reflected on television. And that’s where we are [with their production company, Lodge Freeway Media, which is developing a comedy series for Showtime]. We have other projects we’re working on, and I hope those things happen too, as we’re also journalists and host podcasts and try to be that expert voice of wisdom on various TV shows. It’s a lot, but personally, I like to be busy like that. It makes me feel alive.