What's your favorite breakfast? If you ask WDIV-Local 4 reporter Jason Carr, he might just say, "Bowl of Bacon."
"I asked one morning what everyone's favorite breakfast was. A viewer said "bowl of bacon" on Facebook, which we read on the air and laughed so hard it just stuck as the de facto name of the segment," the Bloomfield-area resident said, explaining how his popular daily question piece got its name. "It grew with Facebook as a way to interact with the viewers by asking a water cooler question. These days, it's something native to my Facebook page only."
Carr's social media and on-air personality attracted viewers for a dozen years as a reporter at WJBK FOX-2 News, where he co-hosted the station's popular morning show, "The Nine." In May of 2016, Fox restructured. The following month, Carr started at WDIV-Local4/ClickOnDetroit, where he co-hosts the station's mid-morning "Live in the D" show and serves as the station's digital anchor and reporter.
"I'm really grateful to WDIV General Manager Marla Drutz for claiming me off of waivers and grateful for helping me find employment so quickly," he said. "Not just Marla, but news director Kim Voet and Graham Media Group."
A typical day in the studio for Carr starts with the morning news at 6 a.m. until his streaming Facebook show goes live at 9:15-ish, then "Live in the D," which runs from 10 to 11 a.m.
"You're kind of always on, and always reachable on social media," he said. "Back in the golden era of local news, anchors were on at 6 p.m. and 11 p.m., and you might see some features. Social media now is 24/7, and has allowed me to talk to viewers and for them to talk to me in a way that is groundbreaking, that I think is pretty cool."
While features and lighter news helped Carr gain viewers over the years, he's equally at home covering breaking and hard news, where his social media ability is an asset, as well.
"People are watching from all over," he said about the ability of Facebook streams to reach viewers. "We have one viewer who watches every day and comments from Australia. We have people from the west coast and the UK. It originates from Detroit, and people are watching all over."
Raised in Plymouth, Carr had a classic childhood, riding dirt bikes, playing video games and hanging out at the park until dark. In fourth grade he won a young author's award, and joined the yearbook and newspaper staff in high school. When he graduated from Michigan State University with a degree in journalism, he had already written and been an editorial cartoonist for years at the State News and was leaning toward a career in print.
"I still have a stack of rejection letters from 1992, from places like the Arizona Republic and the Seattle Times," he said.
Working first in radio, then television, Carr moved around the state until he landed at WJRT-TV in Flint, where he co-anchored weekend morning news with Taryn Asher, who now works at FOX-2, and whom he has been married to since 2007.
"We root for each other,” Carr said of the marriage dynamic. "We can't share information, so we don't talk about newsroom information. It helps that we work different shifts and do different things. It makes sense, in a weird way."
Photo: Laurie Tennent