Former “Oprah” Show Producers Launch New Chicago-Based Production Company
August 8, 2012 by Screenmag
Two former producers of “The Oprah Winfrey Show” have partnered to launch a new Chicago-based television production and branded entertainment company.
Candi Carter, a former senior producer who produced nearly 300 hours of the “Oprah” show, and Rick Segall, a former senior-level producer, have formed New Chapter Entertainment (NCE), with a focus on originating, developing and producing unscripted TV shows for broadcast, cable, syndication and new media. The company is also launching a branded entertainment division to create short-form video content, commercials, short films and more for corporate clients.
“It has been incredibly busy at New Chapter,” Carter says. “In addition to moving into our new offices at the end of last month, we quickly worked through all of the shows we have in development, decided on which ideas should have priority, then shot and edited those concepts to be pitched this Fall in LA. We've also just completed a few segments in our branded entertainment division for the McDonald's Channel. It's a very exciting time for us indeed.”
Carter, who serves as Founder and CEO of NCE, spent the last 15 years at Harpo Productions, where she served as a senior producer for “The Oprah Winfrey Show.” During her tenure, Carter created some of the most memorable hours of television in “Oprah” show history, including the award-winning special featuring 200 male survivors of sexual abuse, Oprah meeting her half-sister (the highest-rated show in six years at the time), the historic reunion for the 50th anniversary of the Freedom Riders and an iconic MLK special. An Emmy award-winning producer, Carter started her career at CNN’s headquarters in Atlanta and also worked as a programming producer for WISN in Milwaukee before joining Harpo Productions.
A 19-year television industry veteran, Segall is Executive Vice President of Development and Production. Prior to his four-year tenure at the “Oprah” show, he was president of RSTV, Inc., creating entertainment, news, educational and corporate productions for clients such as The Coca-Cola Company, FOX, Turner Private Networks and other news organizations and large companies. Emmy® award-winning producer Segall also spent eight years as a correspondent/producer for the hit show “America’s Most Wanted.”
Heading up NCE’s Branded Entertainment division is Jim Olen, a 20-year veteran of Chicago’s advertising and post-production communities, who has worked with some of the top brands in the world including McDonald’s, Coca-Cola, State Farm, Gatorade and more. Olen, who serves as Director of Branded Entertainment for NCE, will work to match forward-thinking brands with high-quality, entertaining content.
In addition to Carter, Segall and Olen, NCE’s senior leadership consists of a team of entertainment industry veterans who each bring expertise and perspective to the venture. Entertainment attorney Daryl Jones, Vice President of Business and Legal Affairs, has worked with multi-Platinum recording artists and producers and Fortune 500 companies including McDonald’s. Award-winning music composer/producer Ira Antelis, Vice President of Music Production and Licensing, has written songs for eminent artists including Patti LaBelle and Marc Anthony and corporate clients known worldwide like Disney, Coca-Cola, Gatorade and McDonald’s. Rounding out the team is financial expert Scott Lang, a founding member and consultant to NCE who also serves as Managing Director of City Capital Advisors, a Chicago-based investment banking boutique.
“People seem to be excited about the shows we've developed, the staff we've assembled, and the fact that we chose to stay in Chicago,” Carter says. “We're anxious to prove ourselves to both the networks and advertising industries.”
“We’ve assembled an entertainment industry ‘dream team’ to build a first-class production company that serves both the broadcast and business communities,” Carter says. “And we couldn’t be more thrilled to launch our company in the city of Chicago, the heart of America, where we know we will find a plethora of entertaining and relatable human stories to share with viewers across the country.”
“Whether it’s for broadcast, cable or a company that wants to reach its customers in a new and engaging way, the key to great content starts with the sensibility and experience to find and tell captivating stories,” said Segall. “We’ve spent years telling stories that resonate deeply with viewers and that’s the approach we will bring to every project.”
Carter says they have growth plans, but they’re not set in stone. “Our long term plan is simple, we want to produce work that reaches people,” she says. “We have an opportunity to affect people in a significant way, both through our television programing, and in branded entertainment. If we do that correctly, we will grow (both in staff and office space) organically.”