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Alan Pergament: Former WIVB anchor Mel Orlins joins morning newscast in Charleston, S.C.

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Melanie Orlins WIVB (copy)

Melanie Orlins, formerly of WIVB, has landed in South Carolina.

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Two months after leaving WIVB-TV (Channel 4) and WNLO-TV (Channel 23) as morning and noon co-anchor, Melanie Orlins has resurfaced as a morning anchor at WCIV-TV in Charleston, S.C.

The move to the ABC affiliate is a big step down in market size since Buffalo is No. 52 in the nation and Charleston is No. 91.

However, Charleston is a growing market in a beautiful and historic area and a tweet from Orlins Monday night indicated market size wasn’t as big a factor for the Virginia native as returning to the southern part of the country.

She posted three pictures of herself with her husband, dog and a Charleston beach on Twitter and wrote the following tweet: “Overjoyed with our new start, in our new home … finally back in the SOUTH after 11 years & much, much closer to family.”

Orlins arrived in Buffalo almost five years ago from a Fox affiliate in Harrisburg, Pa., where she anchored the morning news. Before that she was an anchor-reporter at a station in Grand Forks, N.D.

Her final day on Channel 4’s “Wake Up!” after five years at the station was June 3. At that time, she didn’t say where she was headed.

In a two-minute address to the audience in front of co-anchor Kelsey Anderson and meteorologist Mike Cejka, Orlins repeatedly praised the area's people and restaurants and addressed the Buffalo Bills impact on the area.

“In our careers we jump around a lot, I’ve jumped around a lot. This is hands down the hardest goodbye I will ever have to do, it really is,” said Orlins.

She was named Channel 4 co-anchor almost a year after Teresa Weakley left “Wake Up!” in September of 2016 to work at a station in Grand Rapids, Mich.

Weakley was temporarily replaced by Brittni Smallwood before Orlins took over. The delay in naming a full-time co-anchor was partly the result of a change in Channel 4 ownership and the hiring of a new vice president and general manager at the time, Dominic Mancuso.

Since Orlins’ departure, “Wake Up!” has primarily been co-anchored by Kelsey Anderson with Chris Horvatits or Abby Fridmann.

Brianna Betts, the new Channel 4 news director hired Monday, will likely help decide who will replace Orlins on the morning program.

Betts, who most recently has been the assistant news director in Columbus, Ohio, will be busy once she arrives at Channel 4 on Aug. 22. She also will need to fill an opening for “Wake Up!” reporter Jhas Williams, who left last week. And before the Buffalo Bills and Buffalo Sabres seasons start, Betts will have two sports openings to fill after the departure of digital sports reporter Mary Margaret Johnson and the upcoming departure of sports anchor-reporter Paul Stockman.

Johnson, who has been the station’s digital sports reporter for three years, left WIVB last week to work for Daemen University as an assistant athletics communication director/new media manager.

Johnson’s departure follows the previously announced departure of Stockman. Stockman, who has been at WIVB for two years, has not said where he is headed. He is believed to be taking a job at a local school district after he leaves WIVB sometime this month.

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TV Critic

Alan Pergament has had a variety of roles at The News since 1970, including as a news and sports reporter. He has been the TV columnist since 1982, with more than year off for good behavior. He is a member of the national Television Critics Association.

Related to this story

“Wake Up!” co-anchor Jordan Williams and meteorologist Mike Cejka sure seemed happy Monday as new co-anchor Melanie Orlins made her debut on the WIVB-TV (Channel 4)  morning program. It will take some time to see if Channel 4’s viewers will be happy with the station’s decision to have Orlins replace Brittni Smallwood, who temporarily held the position for 11

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