Meet Carlos Watson

Carlos Watson

Earlier this afternoon I attended a lunch at Davio’s hosted by WCVB and Hearst-Argyle Television. The purpose of the luncheon was to introduce a new television personality, Carlos Watson, to markets in New England.

I should say, by way of disclosure I suppose, that I need no introduction to Carlos. We were at Harvard at the same time and that his strong political interests, insatiable curiosity and ability as a conversationalist made him well-known on campus.

Having said that, I believe you will soon hear a lot about Carlos Watson. For one thing, he is at the forefront of a new trend. Through much of the classic age of television, prime time on affiliated stations has been controlled almost exclusively by the big three networks. Now, thanks to a myriad of reasons, too much to go into here, that system is breaking up. Some station owners, such as Hearst-Argyle, are starting to leverage their considerable position in the national market to put up original content under their own auspices.

For their first major venture into serious t.v. Hearst has bet, commendably I believe, on a piece of serious, long-form journalism; in short, on Carlos Watson. Hearst will bring Watson’s new show, “Conversations with Carlos Watson”, to its airwaves beginning in March. The show will run as a series of specials. Billed as a series of “dynamic, unscripted conversations with the most intriguing figures in politics, sports, and entertainment,” the program will showcase substantive interviews with Hillary Rodham Clinton, Sean “Diddy” Combs, NASCAR driver Jeff Gordon and Olympian Bonnie St. John. Carlos will interview his subjects in lively or naturalistic settings, not a set-piece studio, such as Charlie Rose.

Bill Fine, the president and general manager of WCVB, energetically made the case for the show to potential advertisers, reporters, and media types, such as Ken Cooper and Callie Crossley. “I want to leave you with one impression — that you met Carlos way back when,” Fine said.

An interesting sidebar to the story involves Carlos’s involvement with Hearst, which is thanks to a smart media figure most outside of the industry have never heard of, Emerson Coleman, the vice president of programming for Hearst-Argyle. Coleman, a seasoned spotter of talent, worked at WJZ in Baltimore in the office adjacent to one of the co-hosts of the local show, People Are Talking. That co-host, Oprah Winfrey. Coleman’s aim with the show is to “bring substantive [programming] to a broader audience.” If Coleman, who calls the host “very engaging”, is right, Carlos Watson could be very much a part of the future of commercial television.

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2 Responses to “Meet Carlos Watson”

  1. fred Says:

    Eh. Do we really need ANOTHER talk show that showcases the tedious ramblings of celebrities?

  2. Mi Augu Says:

    Down in your Fla market…I’m a news/talk junkie! Saw Carlos..I likey! Gives me a relief from Bloomberg. Thanks MSNBC!

    signed: foxyguhh

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