Frank Vascellaro and Amelia Santaniello weren’t always Frank and Amelia, or Framelia, as their coworkers call them. (Read our full behind-the-scenes story here.)
Once, they were two, single anchors – Frank at KARE 11; Amelia at WCCO – both new to the Twin Cities and looking for dates.
In December of 1996, they each were attending a fundraiser at Uptown’s Calhoun Beach Club. The rest is history – well, almost.
In their own words, how Frank and Amelia became local TV's favorite couple.
Frank: It was December 19, 7:32 p.m.
Frank: I’m just kidding, I don’t know what the time or the date was. But there used to be a fundraiser at the Calhoun Beach Club and a lot of people from the TV stations went.
Amelia: Caroline Lowe, our crime reporter then, came back from a story and said ‘Have you met the new guy over at KARE?’ She somehow knew Frank was going to this and she told me I had to go.
Frank: She (Amelia) was wearing a blue dress.
Amelia: That’s right, it was a navy dress.
Frank: I had seen Amelia on TV, so I was interested, and brave soul that I am, I said to (a PR buddy) J.R.: ‘There’s that girl from Channel 4, go talk to her.’ So he marches over, interrogates her for 15 minutes.
Amelia: He was a loud New Yorker. He was funny but obnoxious.
Frank: He came back and said ‘Yeah, yeah, yeah, you should talk to her.’ So I went over, and we ended up talking all night long. And we talked very little about TV, it was mostly about our families, our lives growing up. It was great. But she had a concern about me.
Amelia: Well, I thought you were gay.
Amelia: Well, you were 33, single, with two dogs. I thought either something is wrong with him or he’s gay.
Frank: I was new in town! I was busy! I hadn’t met a lot of people!
Amelia: Anyway, we exchanged numbers.
Frank: I was leaving the next day to come home for Christmas but I called her and told her I had a great time and I hoped to see her again.
Amelia: It was instant, yeah, I think so. Although there was a break.
Frank: I like to call it a down cycle.
Amelia: He got cold feet.
Frank: Really, all this time and you still bring that up!
Amelia: It’s OK really, it happens.
Frank: Well, it was great for me because I realized how great she was and how much I missed her.
Amelia: Well, and you saw me on a date at Club Ashe.
Frank: Yeah, she was at mass at the Basilica and she ran into (his buddy) Vince Flynn and he told her ‘You have to start dating other people because that’s the only way to snap him out of this.’ So he really broke the male code. A few weeks later, I saw her on that date and I was very unhappy.
Amelia (explodes into laughter): Yes you were VERY upset. He came over and said ‘Can I talk to you for a minute?’
Frank: I think I said, ‘What are you doing with this loser?’
Amelia: I said we were broken up.
Frank: It was a down cycle! But it really opened my eyes to what I had, and that was that. I’m so glad you figured out I wasn’t gay.