Spartan Profiles: Carol Mechanic
Showtime, with its movies, boxing and original programming for diverse audiences, has risen to become the nation’s second-leading premium cable service. Key to that success has been Carol (Whitener) Mechanic, ’73, senior vice president of programming. “We have the most original films,” notes Mechanic of Showtime Networks, Inc. “Three of our six series—Resurrection Blvd., Soul Food, and Queer As Folk—are targeted to diverse audiences, although we find that they work for broader audiences as well.” With Don King fighters like Mike Tyson, Showtime’s ring lineup remains another major strength.
Carol worked for a couple of other cable companies in Los Angeles, including competitor HBO, prior to joining Showtime in 1984. After rising within the sales organization, in 1997 she moved into programming. “That certainly gave me a new lease on life,” says Carol. “I’m becoming very entrepreneurial again, within the confines of this job.”
Among other things, Carol spearheaded the production of two movies about The Inspectors, with gala premieres in Washington DC. She also became very involved with the Latino community while developing Resurrection Blvd, now in its third year. “Being much closer to the product being made is invigorating,” she notes.
A native of Royal Oak, she chose to attend MSU because “everything I wanted” was found in Justin Morrill College. “It combined the benefits of a small, intimate environment where learning is enhanced with all the resources of a great research university,” she recalls. “I have the fondest of memories.”
Not the least of which was meeting her husband Bill, former president and CEO of Fox Filmed Entertainment, and now head of Pandemonium Productions. Carol and Bill are among the many “Spartans In Hollywood” (see two-part series in Spring 1999 and Summer 2000) who are having a tremendous impact on the film and entertainment industry.