When former Fox News Bureau Chief Kim Hume decides to do something, she doesn’t mess around. It’s all or nothing. Dedication is an understatement! Just prior to our interview, I suddenly felt a wave of intimidation. It hit me, “You are interviewing a woman who practically invented how to do an interview.” Good thing, Kim is a friend… she went easy on me.
In many ways, Kim Schiller Hume was part of the generation that paved the way for women in media having more of a voice, in her case, the head voice. Being with Fox News from its inception, she was responsible for overseeing all Washington D.C. based news-gathering efforts for the network. (No pressure, I’m sure.) Like all power positions, she had to endure quite a few personal hardships on the journey upward. And the good news is…she came out on top again, the real top.
What was it that intrigued you with Television News?
Growing up in Ventura County California, my dad was in the Cable Television business. The TV was on a lot. The very first time I saw, “Good Morning Los Angeles,” the precursor to “Good Morning America,” I knew that was what I wanted to do.
What advice would you give a woman who was interested in a media career?
Absolutely you need to get a good education. Specifically, a well-rounded liberal arts education. Many decide to major in journalism or communications and they miss out on the truly valuable knowledge learned through language skills classes, logic, and philosophy. Having a grounded knowledge of history is also beneficial in this business. If you desire this career just because you want to be on TV, you will probably not last.
What would you say was your formula for becoming so successful?
Determination. I was determined to be top in my field, and I eventually got there, but I gave up a lot to do it. A normal life for one thing. If you are going to work in television news you need to be willing and available any time because the news never stops. I didn’t say no to out of town assignments or overnight shifts or last minute travel. In my time it would have been difficult to have a family with my schedule. I came from a generation where most women in my field didn’t have a career and a family. We had to choose. Things are different now, but it is still an issue if you are really ambitious. I’m not sure I recommend it, but if you think you want to be really successful, it helps to be able to make your work your top priority.
What have been your greatest obstacles in life?
Myself. Every time I thought I knew what I was doing. Trouble. Because at the time I didn’t have a solid grounding in my life, I would try to force things to work that most likely should have been forced. I wouldn’t accept it any other way, but mine. I should not have taken a step back.
What was the most memorable news event you remember working on and being a part of?
By far the most moving event I covered was the 50th Anniversary of D-Day. I was a producer for ABC News at the time and covering President Clinton in Europe. In Normandy, in particular, it was remarkable to see all the American WWII veterans there in their quiet dignity. Technically and logistically it was a very
complicated and difficult story, but, I was so proud to be an American that day.
To many you are introduced as Brit Hume’s wife? Comments?
Ha! It’s funny because many people don’t recognize me if I am not with Brit. The truth is, I consider it a bonus to be married to Brit Hume! I don’t mind those perspectives at all.
Would you like to share some insights from your past struggles with alcohol addiction?
I absolutely do. As I drank, I finally recognized how helpless I truly was. When I hit bottom, God saved me. In a way, I look at my disease as being a blessing. I know that sounds funny but I feel that without it I would not know God the way I do today. What a huge benefit in my “life after alcohol”! Now I feel peace, gratitude and well…whole.
Did you grow up in church?
Yes, and I believe that my early Sunday school training turned out to be incredibly useful. That early understanding that there was a God and that Jesus came to save the world is what prepped me to find God as an adult in the first place. Perhaps when I was in the thick of life and drinking, I guess I didn’t believe that God would actually live in me and grow in me. To anyone out there who is a mother or a grandmother, or hoping to be, please don’t underestimate the importance of early church training.
What sparked your interest in reading the Bible 6 times from cover to cover?
When I retired in 2007 I wanted to study the Bible. I began with Community Bible Study and was a little surprised to find myself completely fascinated and therefore, enthusiastic about it. My husband suggested that we do a “One Year through the Bible” study together. So much was unlocked to me. Also, we attend a home church with 5 couples that meet once a month. I couldn’t believe how much my interest was sparked when absorbing the responses to questions by others. “Wow, I didn’t even think of it that way.” As my spiritual life soared, I realized that every time I read the Bible, the more I wanted to learn. The surprise was when reading the same thing at a different point in my life, the lessons changed or the way I understood them changed. That is why the Bible is a “Living thing”. It can literally speak to you.
How has your worldview changed with your new knowledge of the Bible?
I decided that I would have a very open mind about the Bible, not see it as a myth or a religious textbook. I would take it as it hit me. It soon became obvious to me that society itself was based on biblical teachings. Intellectual pursuits, philosophy of values, success or failures to thrive as societies all wrapped up in these “ancient” principles. I used to view the Old Testament and New Testament as separate texts. But through my study, I have discovered how beautifully they are intertwined. (Being a journalist on the frontlines of crisis after crisis, particularly in the Middle- East, helped me understand these divisions.) Fascinating! I didn’t always see it that way. So as an avid seeker, I would say, you don’t have to know everything about the Bible, but know, it is there for you to absorb.
What made you decide to write your blog, “Vine & Branch”. What do you hope it will accomplish?
One cold winter day, I was enamored with our holly bushes and how prominently the red berries were standing out amongst the cold. I took a photo of it, and thought “I should find a verse for this beauty. Then I thought, why not put together three things. A photo, a Bible verse, and a short personal insight. Ok great, but where to put it? Hence the beginning of Vine & Branch. My initial purpose was mainly to share. Now, I hope to also actually affect people for God, even if it is for a moment.
Kim is now happily retired, enjoying time with her husband and taking advantage of her love of exercise. Spending time between Virginia and Florida keeps the Hume’s in constant motion. Speaking for women’s groups and a variety of faith-based organizations has become a new and exciting part of Kim’s journey. Take 5 minutes and check out her Bible-based blog: Vine and Branch, which can be found at kimhume.blogspot.com. What I love about it, besides the content, obviously, is the brevity. Easy and worth fitting into your week!