Starring Role

Karen Wishart views her career as one long string of serendipity. Born in England, Wishart moved to suburban Toronto with her working class parents when she was six. Her good luck started while she was serving her Articles of Clerkship, the pre-bar admission internship for Canadian law school graduates. Wishart was walking down the stairs in Cassels, Brock & Blackwell's Toronto offices, carrying a pile of law books, when she encountered a partner with his African-Canadian clients, who were applying for a license for a black radio station.

"One of the businessmen saw this black person in a suit and presumed I was a lawyer in a firm that was predominately white," Wishart recalls. "He told the partner, who didn't know me from Adam, 'Hey, we want her to work on our file, and we'll consider taking our business elsewhere if she doesn't.'"

Q:So how was life in Knoxville?
A:The pace of living is a little bit slower than it is in the bigger northern cities, but when you walk through those doors [at Scripps], you work really hard and you work fast. I got there right after the initial launch madness, where they were still in start-up mode, and that's honestly the mode I like to be in.

Q:You decided to get an MBA while you were at Scripps. Why?
A:I really started to look at what I wanted to do, what my passions were, and the big hole in it was that I had a thousand ideas but I didn't know how to develop a financial plan [to implement them]. That's when I decided to get an MBA.

Q:What makes this your dream job?
A:There's a lot of learning and a lot of new experiences. And you've got to love a boss who actually lets you do your job and who will listen to you.

Q:What's your favorite TV One program?
A:I love the Barack Obama interview we did with Roland Martin very early in Obama's campaign, when some African-Americans were saying he was too black, and other African-Americans were
saying he wasn't black enough. We could ask him those questions without being perceived as offensive.

Senior Editor

Mary Swanton

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