We had the good fortune of connecting with Deborah Zara Kobylt and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Deborah Zara, can you tell us more about your background and the role it’s played in shaping who you are today?
I’m originally from New Jersey, and was born into a loving, colorful family of characters. As a young person, I was deeply curious about the people around me, their different personalities, and what formed them into who they were. I would even observe the cigarettes they smoked and matched that to their personalities. We lived in a suburb outside of NYC where my dad worked, and my mom would take me into the city to visit museums and go to theater. I was fascinated by the many choices of what to do, the different people. I was excited by it all, and immensely curious about everyone I met. In fact, my mom said I asked “why” multiple times a day, so it seems only fitting I’d grow up to become a journalist and ask questions for a living. Early on in my career, I was thrown into covering everything from entertainment to corruption and even a future U.S. President in Atlantic City, where I got my first TV job. I found it fascinating yet also a responsibility to cover events accurately. When I moved to LA, the journey continued to covering a City with so many personalities. I’ve done hard news, local and LIVE news, entertainment news. But hosting my own show where I get to choose my own content is perhaps the best of all. I enjoy interviewing people that don’t make the daily news cycle. There’s so many interesting stories to tell.
Let’s talk shop? Tell us more about your career, what can you share with our community?
I’ve been a reporter in NY and LA, working at NJN/WNET, KCAL9, Ch11 LA, and CNN I’ve covered local and network news, headline news from trials to floods, international news and the Oscar’s. Along the way I’ve met and worked with extraordinary people who are still my friends. When you’re a journalist, it’s important to ask the questions you’d like to know about, because that’s often what the public wants to hear, too. It’s critical to remain curious, and keep asking questions until you’ve found the answer. I’ve had my share of people who have tried to silence me, but I didn’t let it stop me. This is work that binds the community. We tell stories about the people and places where we live, the good and the ugly, and hopefully we inform people to make their own choices. After I took time off to raise my three boys, I wanted to get back to work but wasn’t sure I wanted the daily LIVE shots at 10pm. So I started a livestream video and audio show, Deborah KOBYLT LIVE, where I interview authors, actors, community members, spiritual leaders, inspirational women, and so many others. Often these people shape our world, but don’t make the nightly news. I’ve since started the Little Italy Of LA Podcast, highlighting interesting Italians and Italian Americans in our city and beyond. Both shows have won multiple awards which I’m proud of, and we have sponsors that our audience supports.
Let’s say your best friend was visiting the area and you wanted to show them the best time ever. Where would you take them? Give us a little itinerary – say it was a week long trip, where would you eat, drink, visit, hang out, etc.
I love the arts and the beach. It would be spontaneous. I’d hit the. Ike paths along the marina, definitely Santa Monica and my love, Malibu. We would hike Mandeville, go to the Gerry villa and LACMA, hit Griffith Park and the Zoo, definitely the Natiral History Museum to see the latest exhibit. The Hollywood Bowl is a must, DTLA, Watts, the cemetery where Marilyn Monroe is buried., there are too many places to mention. As for restaurants, I love so many from Back to the Beach Cafe to Dragos, Toscana and 10. A picnic on the beach is essential. As is the Geffen theater. Let’s not forget our sports teams. Dodgers, Lakers, Rams, whoever is in season.
Shoutout is all about shouting out others who you feel deserve additional recognition and exposure. Who would you like to shoutout?
Jeff Whitaker and Jane Stark, TV40 All the folks at KCAL-9 News, Ch11 LA, and CNN LA, for the opportunities to grow as a journalist.
My parents, Edith and Tony, for feeding my curiosity.
My three sons, for keeping me always engaged.
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