By Anders J. Hare
The evening news plays a vital role in the lives of many Charlotteans — from relying on traffic and weather reports to watching the latest breaking news that impacts them. WCNC Charlotte’s Colin Mayfield took on that challenging task when he became evening news co-anchor, alongside Vanessa Ruffes, back in May.
Prior to arriving at WCNC in January, Mayfield anchored the news in different parts of the country, including at WSAW in Wausau, Wisconsin, WLKY in Louisville, Kentucky, and WLWT News in Cincinnati, Ohio. Growing up, his family also lived in many different places, including Boston, New Orleans and East Texas. Despite moving constantly as an adult and as a child, Mayfield knew he wanted to make an impact on his community from an early age.
“My dad was the city manager in Lufkin, Texas, so he was on radio shows and local TV stations in East Texas,” Mayfield said. “I watched him doing interviews and speaking, and I realized how important it was for a person to be well-spoken.”
Family is the centerpiece in Mayfield’s life. He and his wife, Taylor, have three children including Linley, the oldest, Kingston, the middle child, and Hendricks, the youngest of the group. The family also adopted cats during the pandemic.
“I don’t get to see my older two as much because they’re in school, just south of Louisville,” Mayfield said. “But, when I get to see them, it’s everything. You do these jobs, you do what you can for them. And I couldn’t do without Taylor. She’s a therapist, a mental health therapist here in the area. [Family] is one of the things that’s a cornerstone for me, because foundationally, everything else comes from that. Although they aren’t perfect, they are beautiful and healthy. And we are just blessed.”
Mayfield succeeds Fred Shropshire, who had been an evening anchor at WCNC since 2015. Shropshire had become a familiar face in the Queen City over the years, living and working in the city through three presidential administrations and the covid-19 pandemic. He now anchors the evening news at NBC10 in Philadelphia.
That said, Mayfield has been ecstatic about impacting the community through sincere and honest journalism.
“Especially through covid, I think people saw the need for local media and how crucial it is,” he said. “I think it’s our job to make sure that we buy into that and that we find a way that the public can utilize our information for good.”
Mentorship is important to Mayfield. One organization that he’s championed is Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools’ Men’s Empowerment Network (MEN). The program seeks to promote positive interactions and experiences between men and male students through addressing student achievement, attendance, career mentoring, college readiness, behavior, social-emotional needs and life after high school.
“All of our men on air and some behind the scenes will be working with this program throughout the year, and we’re going to be visible in CMS schools helping out however they need us,” Mayfield said. But it’s not about just being there, but obviously mentorship. That’s a huge part of what I believe in.”
Aside from his work, Mayfield enjoys football, hockey, and NASCAR, which he said Charlotte is the perfect city for.
“I’m very active, so I love sports,” Mayfield said. “I love football. I love basketball. It’s the perfect city obviously for sports. I’m a hockey fanatic, too. I do play golf; my handicap is like a 20 or 25, so I know people are going to read that and be like, we need to help this guy,” he laughed. “I love Formula 1. I’m a fanatic. I watched NASCAR too. I’ve always kind of been in love with fast cars, (Indy 500) as well.”
One of Mayfield’s favorite parts of living in the Queen City is the history it holds and how the city has become a melting pot of sorts.
“In Miami, there’s an inherent Latin culture. (They have) people from Cuba, Venezuela, and it feels like an international city. And I think Charlotte has those [tendencies], which is really cool to experience and to see,” he said. “I love the fact that Charlotte feels like a big city, but it still kind of has that small town feel.”