Meet Candace Hirleman Archer, Vice President, Audience Development at Disney ABC Television Group, ABC7 KGO-TV
Q: Tell us about your position as Vice President of Audience Development at ABC7?
CH: My job is about creating a relationship with audiences. Like any good relationship … sure, we want you to like us, but what we really need is your loyalty.
I have the privilege of leading an amazing team of creative producers, marketers, and designers as we develop and share ABC7’s brand story. Our team’s purpose is to build awareness and loyalty by both elevating our content and connecting it with our audience on their platform of choice – television, our website or app and social media. I also guide our Community Affairs efforts as they are a huge piece of our mission and brand.
Information is everywhere. People have more news options than ever before. My goal is for Bay Area residents to choose us. ABC7 should be a trusted source for local news and information … because we’re different. For starters, we’re local. We live here, too. Our team members don’t fly in and out of a story. They live it.
Q: What made you choose this type of business as a career?
CH: I started working in television news when I was in college because I loved Barbara Walters. Seriously. I’ve always been a news junkie and a sucker for storytelling that connects you to a character and inspires you. I’m in awe of journalists who go beyond the headline to tell stories with heart. It’s not always easy. Especially when working a breaking news situation. I’m also obsessed with smart, strong brands and the power they have on behavior. Leading brand strategy for ABC7 provides the best of both worlds.
Q: What are some of the challenges you feel women face today?
CH: I see too many women, from all walks of life, getting walked all over…and staying silent about it. Inequality, discrimination, harassment, abuse and shame. These challenges belong to every woman, not just those with a personal experience. Time is up. We are all in it together and we must all accept the challenge of keeping this important conversation alive. That means listening to each other and supporting each other, teaching our kids to do the same, and voting. We’ll see real change when policies change.
Q: What advice would you give to young women who want to succeed in the workplace?
CH: Know your purpose - your core values, where your center lies. Know it, own it and make it your starting place with each new opportunity, challenge or task. And, find a mentor.
Q: What would you say is your greatest professional accomplishment thus far?
CH: I’m living it right now. Each day, I get to have a seat at the table and a voice that helps shape the future our amazing company.
Q: Can you tell us how you manage your work-life balance?
CH: I don’t. Not well at least! Luckily, I have a husband who brings me back to my center point when I need it, usually with me silently kicking and screaming. If it weren’t for him and our girls, I would do nothing but work. That’s not healthy, or helpful, for anyone.
Q: When you were 10, what did you want to be when you grew up?
CH: I have no idea. Probably something that involved media. If I wasn’t playing sports, I was playing video games. I was obsessed with MTV, television sitcoms, 80’s movies and teen magazines. I read a lot, but nothing of literary significance. Good thing my 5-year-old daughter already loves classic literature! It’s fun to experience the stories with her.
Q: What do you like the most about living in the Bay Area?
CH: The diversity. I will never take for granted the opportunities my girls have to learn about different cultures and communities just by living here. It’s their normal, but I know it’s a blessing many don’t get to experience.
Five Things About Candace Hirleman Archer
1. If you could talk to one famous person past or present, who would it be and why?
I’ve thought a lot about Ida B. Wells lately. I’d like to meet her. Shake her hand, thank her, and hug her for her work.
2. What are some of your favorite interests and hobbies that you enjoy?
Weekend bike rides are becoming a new favorite hobby as each member of my family just got a new bike…even baby has her own bike seat now! I also love spending time in wine country – tasting, exploring and relaxing. It’s one of my favorite places to be. Although, biking is not always recommended in wine country …
3. What place have you always dreamed of visiting?
Italy. I’ve been there, but I haven’t experienced nearly enough.
4. What’s the best advice anyone’s ever given you?
Oprah had a sign on her office door that read: Please Take Responsibility For the Energy You Bring to This Space. I love that, even though I often forget to follow it myself. And a mentor once told me why she wanted her kids to see her working hard and loving her job. She believed it taught them that if you love what you do, it will never be work. That stuck with me, and I never complain about work challenges in front of my kids.
5. Is there something else you would like to accomplish?
Oh, there’s a lot. But mostly, I just want to raise our girls to be good, kind people.