As a youngster, Christine Devine yearned to become the face of local TV news.
“I wanted to be the hometown girl in Phoenix,” Devine says. “But we don’t get to plan our destiny.”
Devine’s journey was much grander than that. After attending Tolleson Union High School and graduating from ASU in 1987, she worked in Tucson and then headed to the Los Angeles Fox affiliate, KTTV. Recently, the Radio and Television News Association of Southern California honored her with a lifetime achievement award at the 68th annual Golden Mike Awards.
A 25-year TV news veteran, Devine has changed the lives of more than 700 kids in the foster care system through her weekly Wednesday’s Child segment. She also reported and anchored coverage of many of the region’s major news stories over recent years, from earthquakes and brush fires to crime and celebrity deaths and suicides.
“When someone says they’re giving you a lifetime achievement award, you step back for a second,” she says. “It seems premature for a lifetime achievement award. You feel you’re not really ready for it because you’re doing the daily grind and still working full time. However, I welcome any honor because I can talk about kids in foster care and adoption.”
Devine was born in Hamburg, New York, but moved to Arizona with her parents, who are educators and Peace Corps members. They encouraged her educational endeavors and hoped she would become a teacher.
“I thought, ‘How about news?’” she says. “As reporters, we’re students of current events and that was that.”
During her time at TUHS, her father, Dr. Jack Devine, served as principal. She was valedictorian, and was voted “Most Likely to Succeed.”
That she did. She is in the Walter Cronkite School of Broadcast Journalism’s Hall of Fame, and received ASU’s Founders Day Alumni Achievement Award. A former member of the ASU Alumni Association board, Devine attended the university on a leadership scholarship.
“Here’s the neatest thing: The vice president of the university, Dr. Christine Wilkinson, was on the very scholarship committee when I was up for the ASU Medallion of Merit as a junior in high school,” Devine says. “It’s so great to work with her, to be a part of her legacy, a part of the growth of the university. It’s like a family. I’m still grateful to have that connection.”
Reporting the news is just one of her passions. She is a lifelong supporter of fostering and adopting.
“My own family fostered and adopted,” Devine says. “I know the realities of foster care — the highs and the lows, the difficulties, the challenges, the rewards. It’s something that speaks to me.”
Working long, hard hours can be difficult on any relationship, but Devine says she found the perfect partner in musician/actor Sean McNabb. They’ve been married for two years, but they’ve been together for 13.
“He’s been in a lot of heavy metal bands,” she says. “He’s that go-to guy who’s in a ton of bands — Quiet Riot, Great White, Dokken, Lynch Mob. He’s up at midnight and I’m getting home at midnight. We’re a good fit. We have strangers coming up to us and we understand. It’s a crazy, unique fit.”
Even though she’s been bestowed with a lifetime achievement award, Devine doesn’t see the end of her career.
“I’ll stay here as long as they let me come in the door,” she says.