John Carter is a news anchor, father, retired politician and business man. He delivered the commencement address to the College of Fine and Applied Arts in Spring 2014. He also graduated from Appalachian State University’s communication arts program in 1979 with a concentration in broadcasting.
“My degree from Appalachian means the world to me,” Carter said.
“Having a degree from Appalachian on your resume sends a powerful message to any prospective employer.”
After graduating, Carter began working at WBTV in Charlotte. His career grew there until he left to form his own video production business and opened a comic book shop. He also became involved in politics and was elected to the North Carolina Senate. Carter then returned to WBTV and now anchors the WBTV News Morning Show and WBTV News at Noon.
Carter said that because of his education in the communications program he was able to “hit the ground running” after graduation. The program also helped him focus on what he wanted to do after he left.
“It gave me the basic tools I needed and a broad understanding of what it was like to work in the broadcasting field,” Carter said. “Every television station has its own way of doing things, but there are the basics that apply to every station and my studies at Appalachian helped me be prepared to do those basics.”
Carter said the one piece of advice he could give to current broadcasting students is to get a leg up on the competition.
“Getting an internship at a station may be the single most important thing that anyone can do as far as being able to get a job in the industry,” Carter said. “The experience and contacts you make in an internship are invaluable.”