An Interview With KOIN Local 6 Morning News Anchor Chad Carter

It’s possible you know Chad Carter’s smiling face and friendly attitude from his time on the ‘American Idol’ station in town. You know what I mean, right?
Well, now we have him at KOIN Local 6 and he’s the new anchor of our morning newscast, News Now.
He gave some great answers during my ongoing series of Friday interviews…
#1 – I always tell people that TV is kind of a nomadic business to be in because you have to move around quite a bit. Which cities have you worked in and how long have you been on the air in Portland?
I grew up in Portland and jumped at the chance to come back years ago. I interned at KTVZ in Bend right out of college. Soon after, I landed in Grand Junction, CO, probably the most beautiful place I’ve worked beside Portland. I simply fell in love with all the beautiful surroundings the area had to offer. Though, in the life of TV, opportunities lie in interesting places and off to Amarillo, TX I went. While I never imagined living in Texas, I was able to confirm, yes, nearly everything is bigger. Plus, I was lucky enough to meet my beautiful wife while working there. We’ll have been married three years next month. After my time in the sweltering heat I was finally able to return to Portland. I’ve been “back” now for over five years and so thrilled my wife and I get to experience the all the wonders the city has to offer.
#2 – When I see you anchoring the KOIN Local 6 morning show, News Now, you always look wide awake. How early do you go to bed and what time do you get up so you can pull that off? And what time do you eat breakfast?
I try to be in bed by 7:30pm. Not even prime-time TV is on yet! It’s not the easiest hour to crawl into bed, especially during the wonderful summer days here. Tough to try and fall asleep when you know so much fun is being had outside in the sunshine.

My morning routine consists of cursing the alarm when it goes off at 3am. From there it’s straight to getting ready. I’ve timed everything out to the minute, literally. I have eliminated all extraneous time from my mornings so I can sleep for as long as possible! It’s usually about 3:30 that I have my daily bowl of Honey Nut Cheerios, every…single…day. Doing this shift is all about routine and Cheerios are my morning stomach growling cure. After all that I am sitting at my desk by 4am! Yep, only an hour later. 

#3 – You’ve covered news for a long time in the Portland-Vancouver area. Is there one story you remember covering more than any other?
Most recently would be the tsunami threat after the tragic earthquake in Japan. The call came at 11:45pm that I needed to be in more than two hours early. At that time I was completely asleep and knew nothing of what had happened when I got the call. I immediately went to the TV and watched Bruce and Jeff Gianola talking over the live pictures streaming from Japan and marveled like so many at what I was seeing on TV. The drive to the coast that morning and the subsequent seven hours of live TV that followed stick into my mind pretty well.

The three out-of-state stranded climbers on Mt. Hood from 2006 will always stick in my mind as well. Spending days on the freezing tarmac at the Hood River airport watching National Guard helicopters land and take off on trips to the mountain frantically searching for the three men. I remember massive press conferences with media from around the country and talking with family members of the climbers. I can only imagine the pain they were experiencing at the time. To this day, only one of the bodies has been recovered.

On a lighter note, while working at another station in town, we broadcast American Idol, and I traveled to L.A. to interview the top 24 contestants weeks before they were actually revealed on the show. It was the year Jordan Sparks won. While I’m not much of a Idol fan, I did marvel at the security and lengths they went to, to keep the contestants a secret. From signing non-disclosure contracts, to keeping us locked in a Hollywood sound stage to spending hours locked inside an office once back at the station logging the video because no one else could see it. Kinda interesting all that goes on behind-the-scenes. 

#4 – What’s the craziest weather you’ve personally had to deal with while out reporting the news?
There are two events that stick out in my mind. First, would be the snowpocalypse of 2008. Between anchoring and reporting during the week we saw feet of snow, I didn’t come home for three days, staying at a hotel near the station. I remember anchoring one stretch of nearly seven hours, eating sandwiches in between commercial breaks at the anchor desk. It was a marathon to say the very least. That same storm I reported from the middle of I-84 near Troutdale after they had closed the road through the Gorge. It’s very seldom you can report while standing smack dab in the middle of an interstate freeway.

The second event that I remember was the Oregon Coast windstorm of 2007. I reported from the Chinook Winds Casino where winds were strong enough to tear the siding right off the building. I spent hours outside in the wind and rain delivering live reports for my station in addition to stations along the West Coast and appearing live numerous times on CNN and Headline News. For two days afterword I worked on the coast traveling along flooded areas of Highway 101 to Tillamook that was without power and flooding in many areas. I remember staying and sleeping on the second floor of a motel while the entire first floor was about two feet deep in water. And trying to buy food and Safeway while the power was out. Note to self…bring plenty of cash when covering weather events.

#5 – Alright, let’s say it’s July and it is a sun filled Portland day. What would we find you doing on your own time?
I am a lover of all things water. I spend many of my sun filled days on the water or in it. I love to wake surf, boat and swim. I hold my Oregon Boaters Education card and spend hours on the river or the lake. In addition to spending plenty of time by the pool.

My wife and I also love to take the dog and head out for long walks around the city. There’s a good chance you might find us sitting at one of the endless restaurants in town that seat outside. We love the city and spend much of our time walking around the neighborhood enjoying all it has to offer. When we feel we’ve consumed a few too many calories, we like to hit the tennis court and bike. Most of all we love to be outside.

Here’s how you can reach Chad:

Twitter: @chadcarterpdx


  1. Jo says

    Chad, Wondered where you went after not seeing you on KPTV. glad you are still in Portland – at least I hope you are still on channel 6 – the way it goes on some of these news station – it’s like a revolving door. Why the constant change? One of life’s mysteries? J

    • says

      Chad is going to be here for awhile!

      It is kind of crazy how so many of us change stations in the same area. That’s just the way it is in the news world! Thanks for your post.

  2. fan of chad carters says

    I was sad to see Chad leave KPTV Fox News, I had been channel surfing and surfing the web to see where he had gone too, I am glad I finally found him on Koin 6 and anchoring the morning news. I have never watched morning news on Koin but will now. I enjoy watching Chad’s smiling face and his joyful attitude delivering the news. But lately I only see Alexis Del Cid, I hope Chad is still there.

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