Mark Davis Celebrates 50 Years in Broadcasting with a Facebook Q&A

(WTNH) — Our own Chief Political Correspondent, Mark Davis, is celebrating 50 years in broadcasting – over 30 of those years spent at WTNH News 8 covering politics in Connecticut.

To mark this milestone, Mark Davis talked about his career, historic moments in Connecticut as well as the future of news during a Facebook Live Q&A.

Watch the full interview:

How did you get your start in broadcasting?

I went to Emerson College in Boston and majored in speech and journalism. During my freshman year, I heard about an opening at a radio station about a hour north of Boston. I went in for the audition and by the time I got home, I received a phone call from the General Manager who said I was hired and asked, “When can you start?”. I was working as a stand-up salesman at a card and gift shop at that time and he said, “Well, we’d like you to start tomorrow!”

On the transition between radio and TV:

I rose through the ranks in the Boston radio scene pretty quickly and worked at all of the major Boston stations but also did some TV part-time. Everyone has said – and even Ann Craig has noted – that I have really good hair. A lot of the guys at the radio station said, “You really belong on television”. It wasn’t until I came to Connecticut to do a radio show, that I made the whole transition to News 8, then known as Action News 8.

One story in Connecticut’s history that stood out:

There really are two – the budget battle that I was just talking about is a big problem – but in 1991 it was monumental because Connecticut never had an income tax and that’s when they approved the income tax from Governor Weicker. There were protests and all kinds of efforts to stop. We had the largest protest rally in the history of the state at the State Capitol with over 50,000 people protesting but that didn’t do any good; we still have an income tax. The next biggest story was the impending impeachment proceeding in 2004 and the resignation of Governor John Roland. He was the longest serving Governor in the history of Connecticut.

How has the coverage of politics in Connecticut changed since 1984:

In 1984 we didn’t have computers. Computers existed but not for general use. We had the first computer system at Channel 8 in 1985. Of course, we didn’t have cell phones. Again, there were cell phones but not for general use…We had no email, no texting, none of that stuff. You lived and died by the phone.

Mark is also actively tweeting on Twitter: “It’s a newsy tweet, not a wise-guy tweet!”. Follow him at www.twitter.com/MarkDavisWTNH

 

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