BUFFALO, N.Y. (WKBW) — Ashley Rowe, the award-winning anchor of 7 News at 5 p.m. and 6 p.m., will be leaving WKBW next month to focus on being a full-time mom.
Rowe joined the 7 News team in 2016. Since then, she served as one of the lead architects of WKBW’s Hiring 716 franchise that connected Western New Yorkers to job opportunities highlighting workforce challenges across Western New York. Rowe also spearheaded the Follow Up franchise, which dives deeper into ongoing issues affecting communities in our region.
In an email to staff, Rowe said that coming to the Queen City six years ago from Toronto was a move that changed her life personally and professionally.
When I arrived in Buffalo in 2016, I did not know a single person here. I was leaping into a new opportunity, a new challenge, in a new country. Little did I know, my decision to come to WKBW would put my life’s journey on an incredible course. Buffalo has been the backdrop of some of the most important moments of my life: career milestones, marriage, and the birth of my daughter. Last September, I learned that becoming a mom is, truly, the toughest and most rewarding job you can possibly take on. Now, I have an opportunity to step back and evaluate how I want to evolve professionally and personally, and spend a lot more time with Phoebe while I do that. My final show behind the desk at 7 News will be June 10th. It was an immensely difficult decision, but one made easier by all the support I’ve received from WKBW leadership. I have learned a lot over the years with all of you by my side. Thank you for being a great colleague and friend. My journey evolves with immense gratitude for you, WKBW, and this incredible Buffalo community.
WKBW Vice President and General Manager Marc Jaromin said Rowe has been a model leader for the newsroom of today and is now following her heart.
“Ashley has decided to put family first,” Jaromin said. “And while we will miss her leadership in the newsroom, and her journalistic drive, we support her decision 100 percent. Work-life balance matters.”
During her time at WKBW, Rowe co-anchored the 6pm newscast that was awarded a New York State Emmy in 2019 and won a New York State Broadcasters Award for her profile of Valentino Dixon, a man who spent 27 years in prison for a crime he did not commit. Rowe’s commitment to the community has kept her busy outside the newsroom as well, volunteering with FeedMore WNY. She has also been involved with Buffalo Prep, the American Heart Association, Heritage Christian Services, WNY Land Conservancy and other nonprofit organizations.
“We will miss Ashley tremendously,” said 7 News Senior Director of News Aaron Mason. “This newsroom is better because of her dedication to this team, and our community has benefited from her in-depth and investigative reporting. But she is following her heart, which is leading her home to an 8-month-old daughter full of energy. She is putting motherhood first. And we couldn’t be happier for her.”
Rowe will sign off from 7 News at 6pm on June 10th.
Two other members of the WKBW family will also be departing in the coming weeks for new opportunities outside of Western New York. 7 Weather Meteorologist Michelle McLeod, who joined the team in March 2019, has accepted a position in a larger market. Her last day will be May 31.
AM Buffalo Co-Host Melanie Camp, who arrived in Buffalo in March 2020 just as the COVID-19 pandemic was hitting New York state hard, will sign-off from the lifestyle show on May 20. Melanie helped transform AM Buffalo into a multiple platform WNY lifestyle spotlight. She is heading to Houston for an on-air position in this top 10 market.
“These are great opportunities for Mel and Michelle, which came because of the great work they did at our station,” Jaromin said. “We’re so proud of them and happy for their successes. They will always be a part of our family.”
“WKBW is stronger today because of Ashley’s, Michelle’s and Mel’s contributions,” Mason said. “We will be sharing multiple staff additions in the coming weeks. We’ll also be expanding our news team over the summer, adding several new positions that will reinforce our commitment to essential, impactful journalism and positive storytelling that makes a difference for the people of Western New York we’re privileged to serve.”