“I have been in people’s living rooms for the past 25 years,” Mark Allan says. “That is an honor, to be their trusted source of what is happening in their city, a responsibility I have taken very seriously and I have done my best.”
Mark Allan has been anchoring the news on WDTN, Nexstar’s NBC affiliate in Dayton, Ohio, for 25 years.
Until today when he steps away from the anchor desk to retire.
“I have been in people’s living rooms for the past 25 years,” Allan says. “That is an honor, to be their trusted source of what is happening in their city, a responsibility I have taken very seriously and I have done my best.”
Allan has been a constant presence on WDTN’s news, anchoring an hour at 4 p.m., an hour at 5, a half-hour at 6, an hour at 10, and a half-hour at 11, making for a total of four hours a day.
“It will be a change for a lot of people when they flip on the news and I’m not there,” he says.
Here’s are some promos featuring Allan WDTN has produced over his quarter century there.
Allan wanted to work in broadcasting since he was 8 years old when he opened a Christmas gift, a transistor radio.
“I would listen to AM radio stations all over the country because AM signals at night are pretty powerful. I am picking up stations in Nashville and New York City and something clicked. I just knew this is it. This is the coolest thing and this is what I want to do,” Allan says.
After graduating from Arizona State with BA in broadcasting in 1978, Allan worked at TV stations in Arizona and Kansas before making his way to WDTN in 1995.
Allan has received numerous honors and awards, including two Regional Edward R. Murrow Awards from the Radio Television Digital News Association for feature reporting.
He has also received three Ohio Valley Chapter Emmy Awards for his coverage of Hurricanes Katrina and Isabel, and Ohio Associated Press Broadcasters Awards for Best Broadcast Writing and his coverage of the Ohio National Guard in Kosovo.
Allan says he’s been looking back lately.
“When I got here in the fall of ’95, the Bosnia peace talks were underway here at Wright-Patterson Air Force Base attempting to put an end to the unrest in Bosnia and it was quite literally the biggest story in the world at that time,” Allan says.
In the past couple of years, Dayton has been the location for a series of horrific tragedies, a massive tornado outbreak and a mass shooting that killed nine people.
“It has taken a toll on all of us,” Allan says.
He says he’s often asked about the secret to his success. His answer is “if you can accomplish these three things no matter what you do in life, I think you are going to be OK: Find the right person to share your life with, find your true passion, what lights your fire, and find the right place to do that work. If you could check those three boxes, you are in for a pretty good life whether you do this or whatever you choose to do.”
He says the best advice he ever got was to be “yourself because nothing reveals phoniness faster than a television camera. Just be who you are — and I have always taken that to heart. I guess that is kind of why I’m still here.”
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