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Continued: Kris Jenner says TV talk-show test is a 'dream' for her and female empowerment for others

  • Article by: LYNN ELBER , AP Television Writer
  • Last update: July 11, 2013 - 5:50 PM

As viewers and magazine devotees know, that means a focus on living an exciting, well-dressed life that can include chaotic personal relationships such as Kim Kardashian's short-lived marriage to pro athlete Kris Humphries.

But there's far more to the family empire than magazine headlines and multiple TV spinoffs. Besides product endorsements, there are ventures such as a teen clothing line from youngest kids Kendall and Kylie Jenner. Chalk it all up to the drive of Kris Jenner, 57, the "momager" who's spun an empire from the fabric of reality TV. Total revenues exceeded $65 million in 2010 and keep growing, according to The Hollywood Reporter.

That makes Jenner convincing evidence that skills developed on the home front translate nicely to the business world.

After a stint as a flight attendant, she married lawyer Robert Kardashian and, at age 22, gave birth to the first of her six children (three daughters and a son with Kardashian, whom she divorced in 1991 and who died in 2003, and her two daughters with second husband Bruce Jenner).

"I was the room mother and the Brownie leader and the soccer coach and the carpool driver. I was like a sponge, I was so excited to be doing what I was doing, passionate about my kids and family," she said. Add to that party-giving and decorating, done "sometimes on a budget, sometimes not on a budget," and Jenner emerged as one efficient multitasker.

Her business acumen was sharpened by those in her social circle, most notably music industry giant Irving Azoff who, luck had it, was married to Jenner's close childhood friend.

The first test of Jenner's ability to guide a career came when she married Bruce, the former Olympian who had turned to inspirational speaking but wasn't thriving.

"I started managing him. It was survival," said Jenner, who recalled admonishing her husband, "You're an amazing, fabulous speaker, why not have a more organized machine?"

Asked if her fans understand the hustle and discipline that's behind her glossy veneer (she's up at 4 a.m. to start her day with a workout), Jenner veers into a condemnation of what she calls the tabloid exploitation of her family.

"Tabloids will print any lie to sell a magazine. I used to give people I didn't know out there reading this stuff a lot more credit. I used to think, 'Who would believe this?'" said Jenner, slipping briefly from her persistently upbeat tone into frustration.

She'd rather that people tune in to "Kris" (target audience: women aged 25 to 54) and let her tell the story of her family and the 50-something mother who leads them.

"I want to be an inspiration to somebody," Jenner said. "I want to empower people, especially young women, to feel like they can go out and get it and follow their dream and be successful at any age. ... I think that people that go through life need to be reminded that they can do it all, if they want it all."

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