It’s no secret that the Ozarks is full of good food and unique activities. KY3’s lifestyle program, The Place, sets out to uncover everything 417-land has to offer, from the best dessert spots to hidden caves off the beaten path. “I find out so much from the segments we do, and I hope I never stop learning about the Ozarks,” says host and executive producer Melanie Steen.
Steen moved to Springfield in April of 2020 after being hired to help launch The Place in October. She’s worked on similar lifestyle shows in the past and has a long list of experiences in the field. She started her career in St. Louis when she applied for a sales job with WFUN, a children's radio station, and was put on the air as Melanie Mouse. “It was my very first broadcast job and even though it happened by accident, I loved it so much,” says Steen. She worked in radio for a few years before transitioning into television as a general assignment and weather reporter. She’s had jobs all over the country from California to Illinois, before settling in Missouri. “I love the Midwest, it’s more of a down-home feel and it is truly home for me,” Steen says.
As executive producer, hosting takes up very little of her typical workday. She spends an average of 30 minutes each day filming and is largely focused on scripting and producing the show, but her favorite aspect of the job is coaching her team. Steen has a young team, with a majority of them being on their first or second job so she enjoys getting to put her teaching skills to use from her time as an adjunct professor at Maryville University “I like talking with them and sharing my experiences in one-on-one sessions where we go over stories and can strategize together,” says Steen. Lifestyle host Michael Gibson appreciates her ability to teach and loves getting to learn from his co-host. “Melanie is a legend in the business,” says Gibson. “She worked in some incredible markets and I love working with her and being able to have her guiding our team.”