Emmy-nominated journalist Melanie Hebert co-anchors weekday mornings at the legendary CBS affiliate WWL-TV in New Orleans, the market leader in news. She formerly anchored the weekday morning news at the city's NBC affiliate WDSU. There she made her mark back in her hometown solo anchoring 12 hour shifts during the station's week-long continuous global coverage of Hurricane Gustav which prompted an evacuation of at least 1.9 million Louisiana residents. With a team of local/national reporters and meteorologists she relayed vital information on Direct TV and online while conducting dozens of live satellite and phone interviews with emergency and elected officials including then U.S. Senator Barack Obama, a presidential candidate at the time. In August 2010 Melanie helped to expand WDSU's morning news coverage by launching the market's earliest live newscast at 4:30 a.m.
Prior to her move home, Melanie was co-anchor of an Emmy-winning newscast in Southern California, anchoring the top-rated morning and noon news programs in the Palm Springs market at KESQ. Her notable work at the ABC affiliate included the massive 2007 Sawtooth Complex Fire, the death of former U.S. President and Rancho Mirage resident Gerald Ford, and a 5-part series of California-connected stories from New Orleans on the first anniversary of Hurricane Katrina. She grew a particular interest in consumer issues in California where she broke the story of a real estate scam victimizing more than 60 Mexican residents who lost up to $40,000 each. Her investigation prompted several class action lawsuits and an arrest warrant. Melanie also followed stories beyond the U.S. border investigating Mexican dental businesses and partnering with her sister Telemundo station to produce an undercover series on black-market pharmacies.
In addition to her journalistic skills, Melanie has valuable production experience from the entertainment industry. While in California she worked as a freelance entertainment reporter in Hollywood covering movie screenings and conducting actor interviews. She has also acted herself, playing the role of the television reporter in the 2011 film The Green Lantern. She's interviewed a variety of celebrity subjects including those in the personal homes of pop star Britney Spears and famed author Anne Rice. Her entertainment reporting has been featured on Access Hollywood and the Detroit-Based Movie Show Plus. Melanie's television career began in entertainment working for the line producer at the nationally-syndicated entertainment news magazine "Extra" as an intern/production assistant.
In her first on-air job in Baton Rouge Melanie anchored a morning news/talk show in addition to hosting and producing a weekly public affairs show. There she covered the trial of serial killer Derrick Todd Lee, and she created and produced two half-hour specials on the Miss Teen USA pageant when Baton Rouge served as the host city. She also created, produced and co-anchored the two-week local Olympic newscast "From Baton Rouge to Athens." While working in Baton Rouge Melanie hosted the MDA Jerry Lewis Labor Day Telethon each year and actively volunteered for the Muscular Dystrophy Association for several years.
Melanie earned a Bachelor of Arts in Mass Communication from Louisiana State University with a concentration in Broadcast Journalism and minors in Dance and Photography. She spent part of her college career in New York City studying dance at NYU's Tisch School of the Arts and working at a law firm on 5th Avenue. Melanie was captain of the LSU Golden Girls Dance Team, and the LSU student body voted her Homecoming Queen in 2001. She has traveled the country as a choreographer, coached the nationally ranked LSU Tiger Girls Dance Team, and worked as the Director of Publicity for the Baton Rouge Ballet Theatre. In her years on the West Coast she judged dance competitions in Hollywood and Phoenix for Universal Dance Association.
Melanie has been extremely involved in every community in which she has lived from teaching Catholic Education to middle school students in LaQuinta, California to renovating a gutted 120 year old house in the New Orleans area. She currently serves on the board of the Jefferson Parish Children's Advocacy Center and is a member of the Advisory Board for the Plaquemines Animal Welfare Society. She has been an active member of the Big Brothers/ Big Sisters of the Desert, United Way, the Muscular Dystrophy Association, New Orleans Teens Encounter Christ, the Southern California LSU Alumni Association, the National Academy of Television Arts and Sciences, the Louisiana Alliance for Dance and the Louisiana Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis Association of which she was a founding board member.