Reporter, weekend anchor Lisa Kubota bids aloha to Hawaii News Now

Updated: Aug. 30, 2020 at 5:56 PM HST
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HONOLULU, Hawaii (HawaiiNewsNow) - After 20 years in the broadcast journalism industry, Hawaii News Now’s Lisa Kubota is saying aloha to the world of television news.

She’s been with the Hawaii News Now team since its inception. She’s held various roles throughout her career working as a reporter, producer, morning show anchor, and weekend anchor.

As a native of Maui, Kubota initially never saw herself working in television news. It wasn’t until after she graduated from Claremont McKenna College in California when she discovered the excitement of the newsroom as an intern at KHNL News 8.

“I walked in, and I fell in love with the newsroom. The blaring scanners, back then clipping newspapers, answering all the phones, getting to shadow reporters — I knew right then and there that that was my dream job,” Kubota said.

She spent some time overseas teaching English in Japan, before returning to the islands.

In 2004, she joined the KGMB9 News team to work alongside some of the industry’s best — like her personal role model Jade Moon.

Kubota went on to cover local issues, major elections, hurricanes and diplomatic visits abroad. She says a highlight of her career was a visit to the Demilitarized Zone between North and South Korea.

She also got the rare chance to go beyond the gates of the Toyko palace for a special report about the Imperial Couple’s visit to Hawaii in 2009, and the evolving role of the monarchy.

As a Baldwin High School alumna, she graced the Hawaii News Now newsroom with her vast knowledge of Maui, covering the issues of the Valley Isle.

It’s moments like this she says she’ll treasure always. To the loyal viewers, she has a simple message of gratitude.

“Thank you for trusting me and for depending on me. I’ve loved interacting with them and hearing their stories and telling their stories, and I will forever be grateful for this opportunity and always cherish these memories. Thank you,” she said.

Coworkers praise her for her humility, impeccable work ethic, and kind heart.

Kubota is now heading to a communications role with a local educational institution. It’s a welcomed change of pace for her as she’ll now be able to spend more time with her loving and supportive family.

She adds that embarking on an educational mission while helping her own kids gear up for school amidst the pandemic is a new and exciting priority.

“My children now are 4 and 6, and their classes, Monday through Friday. So when they’re free on Saturday and Sunday, I had to work. And I know those are years that I will never ever have a chance to get back. So this is the best thing for me and for my family,” she said.

Her final broadcast is Sunday night on KGMB and KHNL at 10 p.m.

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