Carol Ross Joynt is author of the memoir "Innocent Spouse," an Emmy-winning network news producer, for a Charlie Rose prison interview with Charles Manson for CBS News. She produces and hosts her own TV talk show, The Q&A Cafe, where she has interviewed more than 400 notable individuals. She is also a social media content provider, administering two websites, and has thousands of combined followers on Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, Linkedin, and Snapchat. In March 2016, she joined MSNBC as a guest producer for Chris Matthews at "Hardball."
Carol's long-form interview program, The Q&A Cafe, gives audiences the best lunch conversation in town -- a lively interview with a newsmaker while the meal is served. It was created at Nathans in 2001 and became an instant hit - the first, and so far only, talk show in a bar. It is currently taped at The George Town Club, where the audience often is SRO.
The Q&A Cafe is recorded live on tape and airs Fridays at 8 p.m. on DC channel 16 and is also available on YouTube. The guests Carol has interviewed include legends, Art Buchwald, Theodore Sorensen, C.Z. Guest, Ben Bradlee, Tim Russert, Christopher Hitchens, Bob Woodward, John Riggins; business leaders Carlyle Group's David Rubenstein, FedEx Founder Fred Smith, Georgetown Cupcake moguls Sophie LaMontagne and Katherine Berman, Jonathan Tisch, Ted Leonsis, Redskins owner Dan Snyder, Sheila Johnson; newsmakers Valerie Plame, Jack Abramoff, the "DC Madam," Deborah Jeane Palfrey; media figures, Sally Quinn, Maureen Dowd, Tom Brokaw, Diane Rehm, Dan Rather, Chuck Todd, David Brooks, Tina Brown, George Stephanopoulos, Chris Matthews, Charlie Cook, Gwen Ifill, Arianna Huffington, Mark Halperin and John Heilemann; entertainment stars, director Oliver Stone, the cast of This Is Spinal Tap, Harry Shearer, Michael McKean and Christopher Guest, Glee star Jane Lynch, Bob Balaban, culinary stars, Patrick O'Connell, Daniel Boulud, Eric Ripert, Michel Richard, Eric Ziebold, Derek Brown; reality TV personalities, Carole Radziwill, Tareq and Michaele Salahi, Simon Van Kempen; and politics, Fred Thompson, Mark Warner, every recent DC mayor: Marion Barry, Anthony Williams, Adrian Fenty, Vincent Gray and Muriel Bowser.
In the realm of communications management, she was Vice President for Communications at the FP Group, the publishers of Foreign Policy magazine, foreignpolicy.com, and the producers of FP Events, where she supervised the buildout of a podcast studio and helped launch FP Podcasts, and organized media training for the editorial staff and pro-actively raised the magazine's profile in broadcast media.
Fox News Sunday profiled Carol as a Washington "power player of the week."
Carol's book, "Innocent Spouse," published by Crown Publishers, was selected by Condé Nast Artistic Director Anna Wintour to be excerpted first and exclusively in Vogue magazine. It was launched on the Today show and also featured in USA Today and other national media, and in Washingtonian magazine. It is a true story of inheriting a legendary Washington saloon, Nathans, upon the sudden death of her husband, J. Howard Joynt III, and unwittingly becoming a federal tax fraud defendant, battling the IRS (and winning), learning to manage a team of lawyers, run a business, maintain a career and most of all be a full-time mother to her little boy. The struggle spans a dozen years. The reviews were positive. "Innocent Spouse reads like a novel, which is the highest compliment I can pay an actual memoir. A moving story of posthumous betrayal, and of survival," wrote Christopher Buckley. "A searing personal journey where the pages fall away from one’s hand like meat from a bone," was the praise from bestselling author David Baldacci.
From 2007 to 2016 Carol wrote a regular Monday column of Washington social commentary for the New York Social Diary.
Carol Joynt talked about her life and career, and the challenges she's faced, in this recent web interview.
EARLY CAREER: Her journalism career began in Washington and in print media, reporting for the UPI wire service on the antiwar movement, the U.S. space program and politics. She joined Time magazine in New York in the 1970s and soon after was hired by Walter Cronkite to be one of his writers at CBS News, specifically assigned to the Dupont and Peabody-award winning CBS Evening News, but she also wrote for Cronkite specials and live coverage, such as the Watergate scandal and the fall of Saigon. Later she was an assignment editor and a field producer for NBC News in Washington; and also was a producer for the CBS broadcast Nightwatch, the Charlie Rose Show on PBS, Nightline with Ted Koppel, Larry King Live and Hardball with Chris Matthews. It was while a producer at Nightwatch that she and host Charlie Rose won the national Emmy Award for a prison interview with convicted murderer Charles Manson.
During one break in her television career, she spent three years directing documentary films, principally for the National Gallery of Art, and worked closely with its then director, J. Carter Brown. During another break she departed from media altogether and crewed on a 72-foot Herreshoff classic sailing yacht based in the West Indies, the New York 50 "Spartan."
Carol is also a public speaker who has hosted TED talks, emcee'd dinners for as many as 900 and as few as 100, and enjoys the opportunity to speak with groups, especially women's groups about life's unexpected challenges.
Her priorities always have been family and work, especially making a home for her son, Spencer, who graduated from the University of Texas with a major in creative advertising. He is a designer and works with a popular DC-based advertising agency. Carol was born in Denver, grew up in Europe, and on the East Coast, and lives in the Georgetown neighborhood of Washington.