WSAZ-TV has welcomed a new but familiar face to its anchor desk.
Amanda Barren was announced Friday as the replacement for Jessica Ralston, who left earlier this month to become the new anchor for WTVF Nashville.
Barren rejoined the WSAZ News Team in December 2012 to co-anchor First at Five with Bill Murray. She will remain in that capacity until a replacement is found but will also anchor the 5:30 p.m., 6 p.m., 10 p.m. and 11 p.m. newscasts.
"It's a lot but I'm looking forward to it," Barren said. "I love to write and I love people so this job is perfect for me."
After graduating from Ohio University's E.W. Scripps School of Journalism, Barren took a job at WTAP in Parkersburg. She then moved to Erie, Pa., where she covered the crime and courts beat before becoming the anchor of "Good Morning Erie" for two years.
When the opportunity arose to work at WSAZ, Barren jumped at the chance to make the move to Charleston in 2006.
"As a student at O.U., I always watched WSAZ," Barren said. "They value good storytelling and the quality of the people in West Virginia are unmatched."
Barren worked for WSAZ for four-and-a-half years as a reporter and as weekend anchor at the Huntington studios.
Although Barren loved the area, she couldn't pass up the chance to work in her hometown of Cleveland. She took a job there in 2010.
"I grew up watching WKYC," she said. "I had always wanted to work there and I feel the same way for WSAZ as I do for WKYC."