Entertainment columnist Kim Devore began writing for The Malibu Times in December 1996. Her “Malibu Seen” column covers the hip parties in Malibu and the rest of the county.
By Jonathan Friedman / Assistant Editor
This month The Malibu Times entertainment reporter Kim Devore is celebrating two significant milestones. She is turning 50 years old, which she is celebrating with friends and family in her home away from home, Venice, Italy. And Dec. 19 marks the 10th anniversary of her first article published in this newspaper.
Through the years, Devore has written articles on various topics, including local politics and biographical pieces on artists. But her claim to fame is the “Malibu Seen” column, in which she writes about various parties she attends in Malibu and elsewhere in Los Angels County.
“I cover it all, from Paris Hilton and Lindsay Lohan cutting loose at Le Deux to the L.A. Opera’s opening night, to the L.A. Zoo’s Beastly Ball, to Operation Smile fundraisers and movie premieres,” Devore said. “It’s the whole spectrum, writing about people from 18 to 80.”
Devore has developed good relationships with the major party organizers in the county, and has earned herself invitations to some of the most exclusive events, even ones where the media aren’t normally invited.
“Most people are behind the red carpet; they run a caption [and photo] of Paris Hilton and that’s the end of the story,” Devore said. “I go to the parties as a guest, I listen to the speeches. I try to create an atmosphere.”
Photographer Devon Meyers, who shoots for The Malibu Times and Malibu Times Magazine, said, “When you read Kim’s column, you really feel like you’re there. Kim Devore is the hardest working woman in show business.”
Devore has been around show business since birth. Her father, Sy Devore, was a tailor to the stars. As a child, until her father’s death when she was 10, the Beverly Hills native was surrounded by celebrities.
“I grew up with Uncle Frank [Sinatra], Uncle Dean [Martin], Uncle Sammy [Davis Jr.], Uncle Joey [Bishop]; they were all at the house,” Devore said. “I had no idea they were celebrities; they were just regular guys. I never thought anything of it really.”
Devore entered the news business at age 19, working as a writer for KCBS-TV. She attended USC, where she majored in journalism. After graduation, Devore got a job as a news anchor at KLAS-TV in Las Vegas, and began a 17-year career as an anchor and correspondent. Along the way, she traveled to China and the Soviet Union, where she did documentaries on Mikhail Gorbachev and Deng Xiaoping. She won local Emmy awards and recognition from the San Diego Press Club. But then in 1992 while anchoring the news for Channel 13 in Los Angeles, she called it quits.
“I got burnt out after the L.A. riots,” Devore said. “I had had it. I was a bit dismayed about having to go on the air every night and say ‘dead baby’s head found in trash can, details at 11.’ So I decided to take a break.”
Devore moved to Italy and “learned Italian and became involved with the restoration of Venetian art through Save Venice.” She then decided she missed the news business. Returning to her home in Malibu, she read an advertisement in The Malibu Times looking for a reporter.
“I knocked on the door and introduced myself to publisher Arnold York, who assigned me my first story on the real Baywatch hunks and babes,” Devore said.
The television-turned-print news reporter began covering various stories for the newspaper, including ones on politics and arts and entertainment features. When Malibu music producer David Foster began inviting her to parties on his tennis courts that included live performances by locals such as Cher, she got the idea for her column.
“I thought this was kind of different and interesting,” Devore said. “I thought there were things going on that should be covered.”
Devore also continues to contribute to The Malibu Times’ newspaper and magazine with feature articles, including several cover stories for the magazine. But her true labor of love is “Malibu Seen.”
“I have another full-time job in addition to this one,” Devore said. “I write and produce TV shows. Those are long, difficult days. Sometimes after a 12-hour day, the last thing you want to do is stuff yourself into a ball gown, put on make-up and run into town for a three-hour rubber chicken dinner. But still, this is the best job around.”
Devore said the most memorable gathering she covered was a $12 million wedding that included performances by REO Speedwagon, Journey and other popular bands of yesteryears. But she also enjoys writing on fundraising events for good causes.
“Malibu has a lot of good-hearted and generous people like Pierce and Keely Brosnan,” Devore said. “They are just exceptional people, and there are many like them who enjoy giving back to the community.”
Regarding her current job at The Malibu Times, Devore said, “I’m not in the sensationalized ‘if it bleeds, it leads’ news business anymore. I’d rather do something that makes people, especially me, feel good.”