McCubbin is a journalist whose philosophy of life is imprinted on
a t-shirt she gave her husband: Life is an adventure, not a guided tour.
Although she was born in Lafayette, Indiana, Lisa never knows how to answer
the question, Where are you from? Her family moved nearly every two
years as her father climbed the corporate ladder and, by the time Lisa graduated
high school in Wilton, Connecticut, she had moved eight times, lived in
five states and one foreign country. Her wanderlust led her to the University
of California, Santa Barbara for two years, followed by two years at Babson
College in Wellesley, Massachusetts where she graduated with a B.S. in Business.
After working in a variety of sales and marketing management positions,
Lisa began her journalism career at the relatively late age of 31. When
this spunky mother of two heard that KERN-AM talk radio in Bakersfield,
California was looking for a new radio talk show host, she instinctively
knew she was the right person for the job. After an on-air interview, with
no previous experience, she was hired to host her own two-hour call-in talk
show, The Lisa McCubbin Show. For two years, her passionate debates
on controversial issues led her to become one of Bakersfield's most popular
When the opportunity arose for Lisa to make the jump from radio to television
news, she embraced it wholeheartedly and never looked back. After honing
her skills at Bakersfield's CBS and ABC stations as reporter, she became
the co-anchor of Sunrise, the three-hour morning newscast on KBAK-TV, the
NBC-affiliate. With a personality that viewers called a cross between Katie
Couric and Diane Sawyer, Lisa McCubbin became the familiar face that Bakersfield
woke up with each morning.
In July of 2001, just two months before September 11, Lisa gave up her news
anchor chair and moved with her family to Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, where her
husband was being transferred by his company. After September 11, KGET-TV
asked Lisa to report as a foreign correspondent with an insider's view of
Saudi Arabia. Her reports from inside the Middle East captivated the southern
California audience by providing a personal connection to the Arab world.
In Riyadh, Lisa met Prince Abdullah bin Faisal bin Turki Al-Saud, a great-grandson
of the founder of Saudi Arabia. After learning that Lisa was an experienced
journalist, Prince Abdullah convinced her to work for the Saudis as a media
consultant and trainer. In a country where women are not allowed to work
with men, it was extraordinary that Lisa had direct meetings with the prince
and his male staff—often held secretly at Prince Abdullah's private villa.
Her rare experiences in Saudi Arabia are the subject of her first book,
Undercover in Islam: Spinning the News from Saudi Arabia.