The faces of morning TV news continue to change
Steven Albritton will move to mornings on WLWT-TV when Colin Mayfield becomes the third co-anchor to leave Cincinnati morning newscasts in six months.
For the second time in two months, WLWT-TV viewers will be losing a familiar face on News 5 Today newscasts.
Colin Mayfield, hired to co-anchor with Lisa Cooney in 2017, leaves for WCNC-TV in Charlotte, N.C. next Wednesday, Oct. 26. He'll be part of the evening news team after anchoring mornings at Louisville's WLKY-TV and Channel 5 here.
"I'm looking forward to taking on the challenge that is nightly news! But definitely going to miss the routine of the early morning viewers," said Mayfield, who married earlier this month. Traffic reporter Alanna Martella left in Augustto move to Boston with her boyfriend.
Morning newscasts have been a revolving door this year in Cincinnati.
Julie O'Neill, a 27-year veteran, was pulled off WCPO-TV's Good Morning Tri-State last month when her contract was not renewed. John Lomax retired last May after 39 years at WKRC-TV, including the last 32 as Good Morning Cincinnati co-anchor. Traffic reporter Sina Gebre-Ab left WCPO-TV in March to work in Baltimore's WJZ-TV in her hometown.
WLWT-TV immediately filled its morning news void by announcing that Steven Albritton will move from evening newscasts to co-anchor with Kelly Rippin, who is pregnant. Rippin was hired to replace Cooney in 2019 a few months before Albritton arrived from KMBC-TV in Kansas City.
Albritton, an Indiana native who has undergrad (2009) and master's (2011) degrees from Ball State University, will join Rippin and meteorologist Randi Rico on Thursday, Oct. 27.
“Our team of Kelly, Randi and now Steven all understand what’s important to our viewers,” said Jeff Benscoter, WLWT-TV news director, in the station's announcement. "They all have families and know just how crazy it can get in the morning. From weather to breaking news, this team realizes the slightest blip in the morning can make or break your day."
Mike Dardis, WLWT-TV's main news anchor, spread the word Thursday on social media that his station was hiring.
"Please share: Cincinnati area peepswith friends or family looking for TV Jobs," Dardis posted on Facebook. "We are now looking for an evening anchor to do the 5:30, 7 and 10 p.m. (newscasts) … also looking for a News Reporter and a newscast producer!!"
Mayfield, a 2012 Marquette University graduate, told his social media followers Thursday afternoon that he would anchor only four more Cincinnati newscasts.
"My growing family and I are off to Charlotte to pursue more of the dreams we're chasing. Excited to join the team at WCNC in the evening. I’m looking forward to getting on the ground and getting involved with Charlotte!! There is an impeccable team in the evening that has so much momentum. I am blessed to continue doing what I love," he wrote. Charlotte is the No. 22 TV market; Cincinnati is No. 36 for the new 2022-23 TV season, according to Nielsen.
"What a pleasure it's been to wake up with you for nearly six years. It has been an honor and I hope I left you a bit better than when you found me," Mayfield wrote.
WLWT-TV's announcement pointed outthat Albritton has been "anchoring and reporting on the biggest stories throughout Cincinnati, from the pandemic to the issues facing our neighborhoods. Steven was also part of the WLWT News 5 team anchoring and reporting from L.A. during the Bengals historic Super Bowl run."
His station bio notes this "interesting fact about Steven, (that) through college he was team captain of the Ball State co-ed cheerleading squadwhich turned into teaching summer cheerleading camps across the country and around the world. He was lucky enough to have the opportunity to teach high school cheerleaders on US Military bases in Germany and Italy in 2011 and 2012."