By Judith Salkin
News anchor Elizabeth Beaubien admits that she was a little different as a child growing up in Tulsa, Okla.
While her friends were watching kids shows, “I was already hooked on news when I was a really little,” she said earlier this week on a dinner break between newscasts on the Palm Desert based NBC affiliate. “I didn’t like cartoons but I liked the news shows, and I wanted to be a news anchor when I grew up.”
With a few twists over the years, Beaubien has fulfilled her childhood goal. She co-anchors the 5, 6 and 11 p.m. newscasts on KMIR with Gino LaMont.
Even though she had fallen in love news as a child, by college her path seemed to have changed.
Coming from a family of lawyers, as a student at the University of Tulsa, Beaubien was on her way to a law degree when she won a scholarship for an internship at the company of her choice.
Beaubien, in her “early 30s,” headed to Seattle for an intern gig at KING 5. “And I got hooked again by the news bug,” she said.
Her career took her to Bend, Ore., and the ABC affiliate there. After a couple of years, when the affiliate was bought by the company that also owns KESQ here in the Coachella Valley, Beaubien was transferred to the desert station.
It was during her 2004 to 2009 tenure at the station that she fell in love with the valley. “I love the mountains and the weather, except maybe in summer,” she said. “But I love the fact that the valley has a small town feel with all the (amenities) of living in a big city.”
During her first time here Beaubien was nominated for several news Emmys and in 2009 won the “On-camera Talent – Anchor” category for her work on the 5 p.m. news. Her anchor work also helped her win another Emmy in 2008 for her on-air work.
While her on-air work was getting noticed, Beaubien left the desert while KESQ was in the midst of a newsroom shakeup and landed in northern Louisiana, at Monroe station KNOE.
“It was Southern town,” she said. “And it was a lot closer to Oklahoma.”
The desert though wasn’t done with Beaubien. “KMIR wanted me to come back,” she said. “That felt good because I loved working here and wanted to come back.”
For a long time, even though she was doing well in her chosen profession, her family tried to get her back on course for a law degree. “They’d say, ‘don’t you want to take the L-SAT?’, but that’s stopped,” she said. “They like seeing me on-air when they come to visit.”
At the moment she’s single and “reveling in my singledom,” she said with a laugh. “It’s really easy to travel or leave for the weekend at the moment.”
She would like some companionship, in the form of a four-legged friend, but she’s not hurrying the process. “I lost my dog earlier this year and I’d like to get another one in the future. I’ll know the right one when it’s time.”
Aside from the area’s proximity to SoCal’s beaches and mountains, living in the desert suits her.
“I can walk out my door and go hiking or go to the mountains and go snowboarding which I love,” she said.
Along with her work, Beaubien has grown close to two organizations that help others.
She’s been to Ecuador twice with the Rancho Mirage-based IMAHelps (formerly International Medical Alliance) to document the organization’s missions to sick and injured men, women and children who have no other access to medical care.
She also gives her time to the Parkinson’s Resource Organization. “I learned about PRO when I was doing a story on Jo and Alan Rosen, who founded the organization,” she recalled. “And I became friends with them.” A long-time family friend and an uncle had both suffered with Parkinson’s and Beaubien felt an affinity with the couple who were helping others with fight the debilitating disease.
With all the changes in Beaubien’s life since college, there is one thing that she finds interesting and that’s her taste in music. She is, to her own surprise, a country girl at heart. “It was always rock’n’roll when I was a kid,” she said. “I couldn’t stand country, but over the past few years I’ve turned more to country. I guess it’s a way for me to stay close to home.”