Cindy Williams Q&A: After 25-plus years, still doing what she loves

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Cindy Williams, Falmouth, TV news anchor

Three years after she was the third runner-up in the 1986 Miss America pageant, representing Mississippi, Cindy Williams was in front of the news cameras at WCSH-TV in Portland. She’s been there ever since.

During her long career in broadcasting, Williams has won multiple awards for her role as a news anchor, where she also works alongside her husband, Lee Nelson. She has won multiple awards from the Associated Press, as well as the Maine Association of Broadcasters.

Williams said she and Nelson decided to stay in Maine after falling in love with the state and choosing it as a place to raise their family.

She graduated from the University of Southern Mississippi in 1985 with a degree in radio, television and film.

My Generation spoke with Williams recently about how she came to Maine, why she stayed, and changes in broadcasting during her long career.

Q: You’re at the top of your game professionally. Is this the path you planned?

A: It’s not exactly the path I had planned, but one I definitely chose for myself. Early on I saw myself in a bigger market. But my husband and I made the decision to stay in Maine relatively early in our careers here. We love it. I think most people adjust their career plans according to what works best with their lives. We definitely did and have never regretted it. I feel incredibly fortunate to be working at Channel 6. It’s been a fantastic experience. I work with the most wonderful people, and my children have grown up in a fantastic place.

Q: What has changed the most in your career and how have you adjusted?

A: The biggest change in my business has been with technology and with social media. People don’t necessarily sit down to watch the 6 p.m. news anymore. They can get their news from so many other sources. The adjustment has been to offer all of those other sources, as well. We spend a lot of time posting our stories online as well as getting them ready for air. My biggest struggle is with social media. There’s a fine line between being a public personality but remaining a private person. I know a lot of people share a lot about their private lives, but I’m just not comfortable doing that.

Q: Where do you see yourself in five years?

A: In five years, I see myself right here. Doing what I love. Hopefully, making a difference in people’s lives. That’s what makes it worth it.

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