CHARLESTON, W.Va. -- When Amanda Barren was in school at Ohio University, she watched WSAZ-TV. So when she got the chance to work there as an anchor and reporter in 2006, it seemed like a dream job.
But growing up in Cleveland, she watched WKYC-TV. When the opportunity to work there presented itself two years ago, she knew she had to take it.
"But there's something in this area that gets under your skin," she said. "You really can't shake it."
So now Barren is returning to Charleston and WSAZ, this time as a co-anchor of the "First at 5:00" newscast with Bill Murray. Monday will be her first day on the air.
She's replacing Carrie Cline, who she watched all those years in college.
"To sit in the seat where Carrie Cline sat is awesome to me," Barren said. "I just think she's a class act."
Working alongside Bill Murray is a thrill for Barren — she's admired Murray for years. When she was a cub reporter, he once sent her an email praising her work on a story. She printed it out and taped it under her keyboard for luck.
That's noteworthy to Barren for more than one reason: it shows how much she once looked up to Murray, but also how kind it was for a seasoned veteran to take the time to reach out to a young reporter.