WKBW-TV (Channel 7) co-anchor Ashley Rowe has agreed to a new three-year contract to be the primary female anchor at the ABC affiliate.
Rowe arrived from a Toronto station three years ago to replace Joanna Pasceri in the position. She is the co-anchor alongside Jeff Russo at 5 p.m. and 11 p.m. and with Keith Radford at 6 p.m.
Her original three-year contract was set to expire shortly.
“Western New York is a dynamic community with a soul and energy that invigorates both my work and my life here,” wrote Rowe in a text. “I’m thrilled to continue to be a part of the WKBW family. We are proud of the refreshing approach we take to the stories we tell.
“I’m lucky to be part of a multimedia news organization that has an unparalleled commitment to investigative work and beat reporting in this market. It’s a privilege to live in and serve this community.”
The new deal comes about four months after Rowe married Dan Greene, the chief operating officer for Formarum, a former 43North winner.
Channel 7 General Manager Michael Nurse said Rowe’s marriage to a local man helped “immensely” in retaining her.
“We were thrilled Ashley said, ‘I do’ to another multi-year contract with Channel 7 and Scripps,” wrote Nurse in a text. “She is not only a wonderful anchor but also a dedicated hands-on journalist and newsroom leader.
“I believe she came to Buffalo and ultimately fell in love with both her wonderful husband, but also with the area and the people of WNY. She certainly had bigger market opportunities but truly likes it here and at Channel 7.”
She met Greene when she was doing a story about 43North. They got engaged last December and married in August in Buffalo.
Rowe was born to Canadian parents in Los Angeles and is a dual citizen of the United States and Canada. She arrived at Channel 7 after working as a broadcaster in Canada for several years.
The decision by Rowe and her future husband to have their wedding in Buffalo rather than in Toronto, where she lived before coming here, suggested she has embraced Western New York.
Western New York hasn’t quite embraced her or her station back as much as might have been expected.
Despite the station’s much-improved product, Channel 7 remains deeps in third place in the local news ratings and often gets about half the news audience behind first-place WIVB-TV (Channel 4) and second-place WGRZ-TV (Channel 2) when the three stations compete in the same time slot.
The inability to make much of an inroad is undoubtedly partly due to Western New York’s historic resistance to change and poor lead-ins from syndicated programs and ABC’s prime time schedule.
Of course, stability is a key to any success here and signing Rowe for another three years could help Channel 7 in the long run.
“We believe that we are creating a new proud legacy for WKBW that is focused on unique quality content,” added Nurse. “We also understand it takes time and commitment to change long established viewing patterns. We are proud of what we have accomplished and excited about the future.”