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Louis Carr 0

Media exec’s ‘dirty little secrets’ about success

June 19th, 2016

When Linda Johnson Rice greeted Louis Carr with a big hug at House of Blues the other day, it wasn’t just to congratulate him for his new book, “Dirty Little Secrets.”

Theirs was an embrace of longtime friendship.

Carr worked for Rice’s late father, Johnson Publishing founder John H. Johnson, and credits him in part with the work ethic he has today.

That was in the 1980s, and Carr went on to a successful career at Black Entertainment Television (BET), where he is president of media sales. He also worked for Black Entertainment magazine.

Rice was just named chairman emeritus and a member of the board of Ebony Media Operations, which is the company that now holds the Ebony and Jet brands. ClearView, an Austin, Texas, private equity firm recently purchased Ebony Media Operations for an undisclosed price. Rice remains chairman of Johnson Publishing Co., which owns Fashion Fair Cosmetics and the company’s photo archive.

“I’m a fan” of Carr, Rice told me. “And I’m looking forward to reading his book.”

Its title is intriguing, but Carr’s book is a really a memoir of how he achieved success–starting with his years running track at Lane Tech High School. In 1974, the native West Sider was a member of the school’s mile relay team, which set the national record at the time: 3 minutes 19.5 seconds. Carr remains a Chicago resident, living in the Kenwood neighborhood.

“I’ve learned a lot and I just wanted to share it,” Carr told me before signing books at the House of Blues event. Some of his “dirty little secrets” for success?

Some of his “dirty little secrets” for success?

  • “Don’t be afraid to go into that uncomfortable place. When you come out of it, you will be more confident and wiser.”
  • “Beware of joy killers. They can only impede your progress.”
  • “Recognize and appreciate the people who make an investment of love in you.”

Along with Rice, other notable names who attended the book signing party included former Boeing executive James Bell, Chicago attorney and businessman Peter Bynoe, Seaway Bank Chairman Veranda Dickens, Gilda’s Club Chicago CEO LauraJane Hyde, Vice Chair of BMO Financial Group David Jacobson (he’s a past ambassador to Canada) and Jam Theatricals’ Steve Traxler.

Mesirow Financial executive Les Coney, another of Carr’s friends going way back, organized the book-signing with Dr. James Chandler, a neurosurgeon at Northwestern Hospital.

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