I rarely watch WKBW-TV’s morning program “AM Buffalo.”
By rarely, I mean practically never.
So, I had to be told that Linda Pellegrino has a new co-host with a funny accent.
Inquiring minds who do watch the revised program that has been reduced to 30 minutes want to know: Who is Melanie Camp?
The new feature reporter on the program is an Australian who answered several of my questions via email.
“Lovely to e-meet you,” she wrote. “Kind of all anyone can do right now!”
“My relatives live pretty much, exactly on the other side of the planet in Perth, Western Australia,” she added. “They are all very excited for when they can come and visit. Beware of an influx of Aussies when that time arrives.”
She explained that she applied to be Pellegrino's co-host and moved to Buffalo after working for a group of local newspapers in Los Angeles.
“I worked as a journalist and then editor for a newspaper in Venice Beach and also hosted video content for the group's online outlets,” she explained. “Plus, I worked on an interactive TV show called 'Battlecam Live' on Dish Network.
“I have checked off all media throughout my career. I started at a radio station in outback Australia, then moved to TV (I actually worked for another Channel 7 in Australia), newspapers, online media, podcasts, and more TV.”
She referred to “AM Buffalo” as her “dream job.”
On Friday’s program, which now has news and weather segments but still has paid segments, she appeared twice from her new home in Buffalo and illustrated that she will add more personality to the program.
At one point, she was asked if she enjoyed camping. She answered that with her last name “you’d think I’d be really good at camping. I have no idea.”
She made her debut on Dyngus Day after her birthday weekend, which prompted her to ask: “Does that mean I am a Dyngus? Can you be a Dyngus? Is that like a thing?”
Who can blame an Aussie for not knowing about Dyngus Day? Heck, I never heard of "Battlecam Live."
Camp undoubtedly will learn about a lot of things uniquely Western New York in her new job.
“From a nerdy, industry point-of-view, I am completely geeking out over working with Linda,” added Camp in her email. “She has so much experience and is such a talented TV personality. She has been warm, and open, and generous from the first moment we met, and she has some great tales to share!”
She started on the air two weeks ago but hasn’t been on the same set with Pellegrino for an obvious reason: the coronavirus pandemic.
“Linda and I, along with our ‘AM Buffalo’ executive producer, Sue Dobmeier were joking that we feel a bit like ‘Charlie's Angels’ when we jump on our morning production meeting conference call.”
She already has experienced Buffalove.
“When I first arrived in town, I had to quarantine for two weeks as I'd flown all the way from Perth, where I'd been for my littlest sister's wedding,” she explained. “A few days after I arrived in Buffalo, it was my birthday. One of my co-workers, Sherry Burns, left a slice of cake and a box of candles from Lexington Co-Op at my front-door, she then video called me to sing 'Happy Birthday' while I blew out the candles.
“There are some pretty wonderful people here in Buffalo. I'm still in contact with Mo, the taxi driver who picked me up from the airport the day I landed! I think I made a good move.”
Channel 7 General Manager Marc Jaromin thinks the station has made a good move in hiring Camp.
“Mel is an absolute breath of fresh air to our mornings,” he wrote. “Her sense of humor, warm approach to people and life has already made a difference within the WKBW family. I can’t wait to see the impression she makes in Buffalo. We are so looking forward to the day we can all get back into the studios and give her a proper Buffalo welcome.”