I'm Melissa Brunner and I anchor the Live at 5 newcast and join Ralph Hipp for 13 News at 6 and 10 p.m. Topeka is my adopted home. I grew up in Manitowoc, Wisconsin, a city about 40 miles south of Green Bay on the Lake Michigan shore. That means I became a Packers' fan by birth!
I earned a degree in broadcast communication from Marquette University in Milwaukee. My first job in the business was for a radio station in my hometown doing fishing reports. For three summers, I got up at 4 a.m. to talk about how the fish were biting in Lake Michigan. Just before graduation, I landed a job at WFRV-TV in Green Bay, where I spent nearly two years learning the ropes of a newscast off-air as a producer.
A chance to be in front of the camera as a reporter brought me to Topeka and WIBW-TV in May 1996. I've covered crime, the legislature and a host of other topics, and am also responsible for the weekly To Your Health feature. I'm proud to say my reporting work has earned numerous awards from the Kansas Association of Broadcasters and the Kansas Associated Press.
It's my honor to be involved with several area organizations and events, including the YWCA of Topeka's Week Without Violence, Florence Crittenton Services, the American Cancer Society, the Capper Foundation Easter Seals, the Topeka Organ Transplant Organization's Run for Life and the Race Against Breast Cancer. I'm also proud to serve as co-emcee with Ralph Hipp of the annual Jerry Lewis Telethon for the Muscular Dystrophy Association.
I married WIBW-TV Chief Photographer Doug Brown in June of 2000. We live in Topeka with our dalmatian, Bam Bam, our chocolate labs, Ricky and Lucy, and our cats Spidey and Baby. In their spare time, we enjoy working outdoors, running and searching for great antiques!