Former TV “News Hound” Now Searching For 1:6 Scale GIjOEs
By Mark Otnes, 7-6-2014
Editor, The Joe Report
Carter Yang loved the high-pressure life of a network TV news producer. During his 20-year tenure in the profession, he’s written, covered and produced countless news stories for CNN, ABC and most recently, CBS News. While he’s not an on-camera personality or anchorman, Yang’s commanding role as producer has nonetheless made him very well-known in his field. And, as might be expected, his high-profile job also put him in contact with famous aviators and heroes of the U.S. space program. Carter works primarily in Washington, D.C., but he’s also been sent to the Kennedy Space Center in Florida (NASA), to the scene of various aircraft disasters and wherever else the day’s news requires. He’s even ridden aboard Air Force One! Clearly, traveling around the world and reporting on history-making events is exciting. But heads up, Joe fans… What really gets Carter’s adrenaline flowing is— GIjOE!
Fortunately, we were able to catch up with the hard-charging Yang recently, and he kindly consented to the following brief interview about his exciting life, career and (of course) die-hard interest in collecting “America’s Movable Fighting Man.” Enjoy!
Interviewing (and Collecting!) Real American Heroes
TJR: Thanks so much for taking time out today for this interview, Carter. You’re quite well-known already, but for those readers of The Joe Report who may not have met or heard of you, please tell us a little bit about yourself and what you do for a living. It’s all so fascinating!
CY: “I’m flattered and I’m happy to have this opportunity to share my love of GIjOE with you and your readers! I love The Joe Report! I was born in New York City, but have lived in the Washington, DC area since 1995. I’m a forty-year-old freelance public relations consultant and a former network television news producer. I’ve worked in television news for nearly 20 years, first at CNN, then at ABC News, and then at CBS News, where I was the network’s Aviation and Transportation Producer.
In that role, I produced numerous transportation-related stories for the ‘CBS Evening News‘ and other broadcasts. I’ve covered everything from presidential campaigns to plane crashes to Space Shuttle missions for CBS News and, as a lifelong military aviation enthusiast, I’ll never forget the first time I flew on Air Force One while covering the White House with ABC News in the mid-’90s.”
TJR: Tell us about your interest in GIjOEs. When did you start collecting?
CY: “I grew up playing with 3 3/4″ GIjOE figures, but I’ve been collecting the 12″ figures since Hasbro started making them again in 1991 and I’m proud to say I have nearly every one made since then, along with a handful from the ’60s and ’70s. I’ve loved 12″ Joes ever since my mother bought me a pair of footlockers and 3 vintage Joes at a flea market for just $60 when I was a kid. They quickly became my favorite toys.”
TJR: Cool! But why did GIjOEs become your “favorite toys?” What special meaning do they hold for you?
CY: “My father served in the US Marine Corps Reserves, I have many friends who have served in the military or are serving now, and my family and I volunteer with ‘Operation Welcome Home Maryland’, which greets service members returning from overseas deployments as they arrive at Baltimore Washington International. So I’ve always had immense respect and appreciation for our Armed Forces. That is why collecting GIjOE has always been such a passion for me.”
TJR: Could you tell us about one of your favorite stories or news events that you covered?
CY: “As for my favorite stories, one of them was certainly US Airways Flight 1549, the so-called, ‘Miracle on the Hudson,’ which was not a miracle at all, but rather a feat of brilliant airmanship by the plane’s pilots. It was an incredible aviation story. Most of the high-profile aviation stories I covered before and since were tragedies, but that was one with a happy ending. Here’s a link to the piece that I produced on the flight after CBS News obtained the air traffic control audio recordings from the flight a few weeks after the incident.“
TJR: WOW. That was an amazing story. Did you ever meet the pilots of that flight?
CY: “Here’s a picture of me with First Officer Jeff Skiles attached and, although I never met with him in person, I later worked with Captain Chesley “Sully” Sullenberger after CBS News hired him as a consultant.”
TJR: Just a few final questions: Do you ever go to GIjOE shows? That photo of you on the flight deck of the USS Intrepid reminded me of the national GIjOE convention held there years ago. Were you able to attend? And are you a member of any GIjOE clubs? I’m sure other fans in your area would LOVE to meet up with you in person!
CY: “I’m afraid not. I’ve always wanted to go to a Joe Con, but I’ve never managed to make one. I have been a member of the GIjOE Collectors Club in the past, and have ordered quite a number of items from their store, but my membership has lapsed and I’m not an active member at the moment.“
Bottom Line: Our sincerest thanks to Carter Yang for his generous cooperation and contributions to this article. Do you have a question for Carter about his collection, career or a specific news story? If so, please leave your comments HERE. Thanks!