MIRA MESA — Each month Bryan Devore and Clare McKee are slowly becoming the talk of Carlsbad.
The two have found their niche using Facebook Live each month to educate viewers on different aspects of the city.
And earlier this month, they hit ratings gold with “Real Talk Carlsbad” when the show dipped its toes into the mayoral race. Devore and McKee hosted a public debate format between incumbent Mayor Matt Hall and challenger Councilwoman Cori Schumacher.
But over the past nearly two years, the show has rapidly grown while aiming to deliver information relevant to viewers.
“It’s been really positive,” Devore said of the show. “I’ve gone out and looked for guests that I thought would educate people in Carlsbad. I care about Carlsbad.”
By day, Carlsbad resident Devore, 48, is a realtor with the Devore Realty Group. He stumbled into broadcasting several years ago after he was booked as a guest on “Smarter San Diego” with Derrick Evens, the parent to “Real Talk Carlsbad.”
Soon, “Real Talk San Diego” was spawned from the “Smarter San Diego” radio program, for which Devore was a correspondent, and included other niche “Real Talk” programs for various cities throughout San Diego County. Devore was asked to host the Carlsbad show, which is shot in Mira Mesa, as management felt he had a good pulse on the city and camera presence.
“My first show was actually hosted by Clare because I was too chicken to do my own show,” he recalled. “I started hosting it the next month myself … so it’s been almost two years now. What got me comfortable was being a guest on ‘Smarter San Diego’ show. It was when I was leading the conversation I became uncomfortable.”
McKee, 27, meanwhile, is the workhorse of the program. She produces, books and prepares guests, does some advertising sales and sponsorships. But it’s not just for the Carlsbad program. She also holds those responsibilities for about 30 other programs under the corporate umbrella, making her the backbone of the show.
“It’s important to us to highlight the people behind the business,” McKee said. “Getting to know that aspect of your guest I believe is also really important. Rather than just the fun fact.”
She and Devore said the goal of the program is to educate viewers and to remain apolitical with its programming, minus the debate. Topics range from estate planning, seniors, health and wellness, features on nonprofits, businesses and other happenings in the city.
However, Devore walked into a buzz saw in 2016 when he did a report, what he thought was an educational piece, on the controversial Measure A proposal for a luxury mall. He was blasted by residents, who lobbed accusations at Devore of being a supporter of the measure, especially since his guest was Hall.
“I thought it was educational,” he said. “I was totally trying to be educational. Totally a wake-up call.”
Despite the speed bump, Devore has settled into his role as host. The show’s “ratings” have steadily increased since its January 2017 launch. The show’s second-most-watched program came from the Carlsbad High School TV broadcast class, which took over program.
McKee said they gave the kids full editorial control and people responded to their broadcast. However, Carlsbad High School TV was no match for the highly anticipated mayoral debate. The debate reached more than 12,000 people and generated 4,200 organic impressions and 360 comments, many of which were attacks on other commenters.
Looking forward, though, Devore said he wants to expand and find new avenues to explore.
“I want to let more people know what’s out there,” he said. “I want to go off the beaten path.”
The show also spawned other versions in cities such as Solana Beach, La Mesa, San Marcos and Carmel Valley. McKee said the company is looking to expand into other cities.
The show broadcasts every fourth Wednesday of each month on Facebook. Check out “Real Talk Carlsbad” at https://www.facebook.com/realtalkcarlsbad/.
Steve Puterski covers Carlsbad and Vista. For tips or story ideas, contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org and follow him on Twitter @StevePuterski.