The Tennessean has a new feature article online on TNA president Dixie Carter.
“If I walk away at the end of my career, I hope people will say, ‘Well, at least she tried to do things differently,’ ” Carter told the publication. “ ‘At least she tried to change the way wrestling is perceived.’ ”
Below is an excerpt of a Q & A that is included in the piece:
You didn’t originally come to Nashville for a career in professional wrestling, right?
Like a bad country song, I packed up a U-Haul and moved to Nashville to be in the music business and started my own company. I was here in the ’90s when things were on fire. Music is still with us. My CEO is a former Sony executive. And we have a lot of other people on board who have music in their background.
How has TNA been able to keep up with WWE?
I don’t care who you are, competition makes you better. There’s a reason there’s a Lowe’s across the street from every Home Depot and a CVS across the street from every Walgreens. I think we’ve made WWE better, just as they’ve improved us.
Isn’t this a tough time to be in the broadcast entertainment industry?
It’s a challenging time for the television industry as advertising dollars are dwindling. But it’s the best time to focus on fans. I try to be out in the crowds shaking hands, hugging people and holding babies and saying, “Thank you for being here.” We’ve grown this company one fan at a time. I’ve been there as a small-business startup. I know what it’s like. But we just happened to beat the odds.
What’s one of TNA’s ongoing challenges?
When a company first starts out, you have to do whatever you can to get into the business. Then, once you’re established, you spend a lot of time getting out of all the bad contracts that got you into the business. Deals with companies, bad partnerships or licensing deals. We’re still working through some of those now that we’ve found our footing.
Did the recession hit professional wrestling?
We went from double-digit growth for a couple years to single-digit growth. I call that a major victory. But the biggest challenge we had during the recession was so many of our partners were going out of business. Our TV partner in Africa went out of business. Our DVD partner in the United Kingdom went out of business. Our Australian DVD partner went out of business. Weeks after our video game publisher, Midway Games, put out our video game, they filed for bankruptcy. (The game still sold 1.5 million units.) After the recession, we just worked hard to plug all the holes fast.
Click here to read the full article.