Local News

May 8, 2017

WTNH News 8’s Mark Davis Celebrates 50 Years

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Written by: Reggie Hales

Good Old Fashion Reporting. Appreciated!
WTNH News 8’s Mark Davis Celebrates 50 Years as Respected Reporter

WTNH News 8 Reporter Mark Davis

New Haven – We have watched Mark Davis for years. An award winning, well respect gentleman, who has a sincerely passion for the news business.

Davis, the long time and multi Emmy award winning Chief Political Correspondent, is celebrating his 50th Anniversary in broad- casting in May. ”I know it sounds like an old joke but it’s actually true that it all started at a 500 watt radio station,” said Davis. “My first full time job ‘on the air’ started in May 1967 at WNBP (AM) in Newburyport, Mass.”

Davis has been ‘on the air’ in Connecticut since 1980 and on WTNH News 8 since 1984. Prior to transitioning to television, he had a successful radio-broadcasting career in the Boston area. “We’re very proud of Mark and all that he has accomplished in broadcasting,” said Rich Graziano, Vice-President and General Man- ager of WTNH, “He is a seasoned professional and we are fortunate to have the most experienced Political Correspondent in Connecticut.”

Davis says he’s planning to re- turn to Newburyport to see the re- stored historic town (which is similar, but smaller than Newport, Rhode Island). ”When I worked in Newburyport it had fallen on hard times and they actually were talking about tearing down many of the historic buildings, I’m glad they didn’t.” Ironically, WNBP is still operating, has boosted power to 1,000 watts and is part of a group of radio stations owned by an old friend and former co-worker from his Boston days. “We’re going to get together, reminisce and eat some seafood.” Chief Political Correspondent Mark Davis primarily covers the news and newsmakers in Hartford and at the state capitol. He can be seen weeknights on News 8.

Now the above text is the channel 8 station issued press release, but we had some specific questions for Mr. Davis. A featured Q/A by Inquiring News.

INQ: Is it a privilege to be a reporter and have this career?

Davis: I do consider it a great privilege. It has given me the opportunity to meet and talk with many interesting and important people over the years. Not just well known politicians either.
Some of the people I have interviewed over the years that may be of interest to your readers include: Hank Aaron, Harry Belafonte, Alex Haley and Nelson Mandela. Any- one would be privileged to meet and talk with these great men.

INQ: Did you ever think you would be in this field this long?

Davis: I really never gave it any thought. The years just keep going by and because I like what I do, the time flies.

INQ: What’s your take on the news industry today?

Davis: The news industry today is undergoing many changes. The biggest, of course, is because of the internet and other web based platforms that have drastically changed the business model for newspapers, broadcast and cable TV and radio. It is likely to continue to be challenging to try to earn a profit while producing news for general consumption.

INQ: Is TV news today more entertaining, than the old days?

Davis: There was always entertainment news on TV. Edward R. Morrow did some great documentaries but he also hosted “Person to Person” which was a celebrity interview show. Two of the most popular news personalities on radio were Walter Winchell and Paul Harvey. Both were quite entertaining. TV news shows need to be both informative and entertaining, otherwise people won’t watch.
INQ: What do you miss from the beginning of your career and have you been at Ch. 8 since your becoming a reporter?

Davis: The only things I miss from the beginning of my career are knees, shoulders and other body parts that didn’t ache. I was always a news reporter/ presenter even from my very first jobs in radio.

INQ: What’s your best news story or experience?

Davis: The biggest stories I have covered here in Connecticut in the past three plus decades are the income tax battle of 1991 and the impeachment proceedings and resignation of Gov. John Rowland in 2004. The big- gest story I covered early in my career was the surrender at the Federal Court House in Boston of Daniel Ellsberg, which I believe was in 1970 or1971. He had jeopardized his life and career to leak the Pentagon Papers to the New York Times, Washington Post and the Boston Globe to reveal that the public had been deceived about the war in Vietnam.

INQ: Was becoming a re- porter your first career choice?

Davis: I wanted to be a broadcaster from the time I was in high school. My maternal grandfather was a ragtime piano player.
His favorite composer was Scott Joplin. Because I looked like my grandfather, I was forced to take piano lessons at age 5. I hated piano lessons. My piano teacher was also the choir master at my church and decided to give me singing les- sons. That was better. I was in a lot of school and church shows, which eliminated the fear of being in front of a lot of people. But when my voice changed I joined the debate team. Decided then that if I could make a living talking, that would be great. I did.

INQ: Looking back, would you have done any- thing different?

Davis: Looking back I think that when I had a great deal of early success as a broadcaster in Boston it would have been better if I hadn’t been so big headed about it. Early success is not always a good thing. But when you’re very young and very successful it’s hard not to get swell headed about it.

INQ: What type of stories would or give you greatest passion.
Davis: I try to bring passion and enthusiasm to every story because if a reporter isn’t interested in what they are covering, it’s hard to get the viewer interested. They can tell.
Very interesting. Davis has a great story. We salute him on a wonderful news career and wish him continued success. It was our pleasure to provide our readers of his story. Congratulation on 50 Years, Mark Davis. Your friends at Inquiring News. (Coverage by Reggie Hales).

About the Author

Reggie Hales



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