Emmy award-winning journalist Karla Winfrey is a multimedia professional. As a consummate storyteller, she has an array of experience in front and behind the camera. Winfrey produces documentaries, television lifestyle programming, multimedia projects for school districts, universities, national non-profits, faith-based companies, federal government agencies and private corporations. She is in partnership developing a film project on the last story Pulitzer Prize-winning author Alex Haley had started to pen at the time of his death about his best friend, Fred Montgomery. The finished work, completed by Associated Press reporter and author Lucas L. Johnson II, is entitled Finding the Good (Thomas Nelson). She is also on the producing team of numerous special programs includingeducational animated series, commercials for national health & beauty companies and food manufacturers. Winfrey co-created and produced the groundbreaking documentary, Waiting in the Wings: African Americans in Country Music for MTV/CMT Networks. The award-winning documentary is considered the premiere historical perspective on the true origins of country music made by African Americans.
Winfrey has leveraged her relationships with entertainers to help promote cancer awareness. She was selected to produce the American Cancer Society’s national anti-smoking video campaign Get Active for Life designed for HBCUs, historically black colleges and universities. She received a Telly Award for producing the video All Jokes Aside- Colorectal Cancer Awareness featuring entertainer Steve Harvey. Karla spent her earlier career at some of the most revered television stations in the nation, including: WABC (New York City), KDFW (Dallas), KUSA (Denver) and WSMV (Nashville). She has garnered national recognition as a consumer investigative reporter, show host/news anchor and documentary/specials producer. Her work has also been featured on CNN, ABC NEWS, BET, NBC, Shop At Home Television and The Black Family Channel. Throughout her career Winfrey has championed the underdog. Her investigative consumer reports have unveiled unscrupulous building contractors, improprieties at leading financial intuitions, car financing schemes and retail scams in New York, Texas, Colorado and Tennessee. The results have prompted legislation in several states. Winfrey has received an array of media and community service awards, including the National Press Club Award for Consumer Journalism, National Academy of Television Arts and Sciences Emmy, the National Association of Attorneys General and the National Council on Crime and Delinquency, Best of Gannett, National Association of Black Journalists Awards, Texas Legislative Black Caucus Award-Outstanding Texan (Governor George W. Bush), Press Club of Dallas Katie Awards, Colorado Journalist of the Year Award, and the American Red Cross Award for saving a co-worker's life.
She received national recognition for the television special and public service campaign, Celebrating Life: African American Women and Breast Cancer and The Color of Money, a news series that prompted the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC) to launch an investigation into the operating procedures of the largest bank in the state of Colorado. Winfrey received an Emmy for I Want to Live, a documentary that examined teen-violence, suicide and youth development in Denver. Winfrey has received the Profiles in Progress Award from former U.S. Presidents’ wives and several American Cancer Association Media Awards.
Winfrey is a graduate of Middle Tennessee State University. She is a recipient of the MTSU Young Alumni Award and was among the first inductees placed on the College of Mass Communication Wall of Fame. Winfrey was the speaker for Middle Tennessee State University’s 100th commencement in 2011.