Season 2, Episode 5
On this episode of the Life in the Carolinas podcast, Carl joins his friend Francene Marie on her home turf to reminisce and discuss her career in radio broadcasting. Carl and Francene Marie first met more than 10 years ago, before the Life in the Carolinas tv show existed, when they were involved in events called Celebrations of Relationship Building. These events were simply opportunities to get to know each other and use the common action of sharing a meal together to learn more about different cultures.
Francene Marie has worked in the broadcasting industry for 23 years, and she is notably the first African-American woman to host a program not targeted towards African-Americans. She has dedicated her career to creating a show that is a comfortable place for people to share their stories and a consistent figure in the lives of her listeners. She and Carl agree that their mission in telling stories is to highlight the good side of life and celebrate the human elements and characteristics of their guests.
Over the years, Francene Marie has become more seasoned and experienced in broadcasting and life in general, and her perspectives have been broadened. Over her career, she has conducted almost 5,000 interviews, and she is committed to putting love into each and every interview. Some may call her a “purposeful people pleaser” because she has a way of bringing out the best in those she talks to. She isn’t afraid of disagreement, however, because she sees the benefit in appreciating the diversity of opinions that exist. This past Christmas, Francene Marie was a part of “The Magic of Christmas” at the Knight Theater, and she came alive in her role. Carl also sought to tell the story of Christmas magic by doing television specials at Tryon Palace, Kings Mountain, and The 1915 in North Wilkesboro.
Carl talks about his personal journey of mindfulness and self-nurturing since his health scares with A-fib and sleep apnea. It taught him to be confident in his hope and to be grateful in the moment. He also mentions his book “This Week’s Words”, which is a compilation of some of his weekly columns over the years. He then touches on the first interview he did for the Life in the Carolina’s television show with the Principal Chief of the Cherokee Nation at the time.
Carl and Francene Marie agree that their jobs are primarily to listen to, help, assist, and laugh with they people they come across, and generally just celebrate who we are. They also stand firm in their convictions of the intrepid relevance and value of radio, television, and newsprint in this digital age.
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