AWARD WINNING TV JOURNALIST MARK AUSTIN LEAVES ITV NEWS AFTER 30 YEARS

Ahead of his thirtieth anniversary at ITV News, award-winning broadcast journalist and anchor Mark Austin has announced he will be stepping down from his role as presenter of ITV Evening News at the end of the year.

Mark Austin said: “This week marks 30 years at ITN, three decades when I’ve enjoyed some of the best jobs in television news, travelling the world, reporting and anchoring on the biggest stories and working with some of the most talented people in the business. It was a great honour to present News at Ten and the Evening News for so many years and a privilege to be part of the great tradition of ITN journalism and all it stands for.

“I’m proud of what we achieved. But new opportunities present themselves and now is the time to pursue those challenges. I leave my friends and colleagues at ITV News with a heavy heart but excited about what lies ahead.”

Mark has presented ITV Evening News since October 2015, having previously anchored News at Ten for eight years alongside Julie Etchingham, in which time the programme was twice awarded Royal Television Society Programme of the Year. He has presented on location from places as challenging as the Antarctic, the Israel/Gaza border, Libya, Haiti, Nepal, Mogadishu, Iraq and Afghanistan.

Over the last three decades, Mark has conducted countless agenda-setting interviews with the likes of Nelson and Winnie Mandela, Prince William, Gordon Brown, Shimon Peres, Tony Blair, Desmond Tutu, Jack Straw and Bob Geldof, generating newspaper headlines around the world.

Before turning to news presentation, Mark was ITV News’ Senior Correspondent for fifteen years, based in Africa and Asia, covering many of the most important foreign and domestic news stories of our time and taking him all over the globe.

“Mark’s contribution to ITN, and to ITV News in particular, cannot be overstated. One of the outstanding broadcast journalists of his generation, for three decades Mark has consistently demonstrated the qualities that have made him such a household name, his integrity, his brilliant foreign reportage and his sincere compassion for those whose story he is telling. I am delighted he will be continuing to work closely with us on developing projects with ITN Productions. I am very sad to see him go”, said John Hardie, Chief Executive of ITN.

Since joining ITN from the BBC in 1986, some of the stories he has covered include the Bosnian war and the fall of Srebrenica in 1995 and the war in Kosovo reporting alongside the Gurkhas on the day NATO troops finally entered. During the escalating hostilities between Israel and Lebanon in the summer of 2006, Mark and this team were the first and only TV News crew to anchor live from the ravaged town of Tyre at the epicentre of the fighting. While based in Asia, Mark reported on the handover of Hong Kong and the riots in Indonesia and as Africa Correspondent, he witnessed the violence that preceded the historic transition to democracy in South Africa and Mandela’s victory in the country’s first real elections. He also filed moving reports during the appalling genocide in Rwanda and the civil war that followed and played a key role in ITV’s coverage of both Gulf wars.

Most recently, Mark has covered the aftermath of Typhoon Haiyan, the devastating earthquake in Nepal and terror attacks on the streets of Paris, Nice and Brussels. He developed a series on mental health earlier this year and anchored live from Kenya for his special coverage on the poaching issue, which resulted in an exclusive interview with Prince William.

Over the years, Mark has picked up numerous awards for his journalism from an International Emmy for his coverage of the devastating floods in Mozambique, to multiple BAFTA and Royal Television Society awards for his work during the Haiti earthquake, the Cumbria murders and the Woolwich Attack, among other stories. The Film and Television Festival of New York awarded his coverage of the Bosnian war and the Monte Carlo TV Festival then recognised his reporting of the war in Kosovo with a Golden Nymph in 1999. He was named RTS Presenter of the Year in both 2014 and 2015, following a TRIC award in 2010.

Geoff Hill, Editor of ITV News, said: “Mark is one of the finest foreign correspondents and presenters ever to have worked in this business. He is a gifted journalist and storyteller and a natural in the field. I’ve worked with him around the world and on live programmes, and he’s a consummate professional. He’s one of the most popular and highly respected members of the ITV News team, and he’ll be sorely missed.”

Michael Jermey, ITV’s Director of News and Current Affairs, said: “Over the past 30 years Mark has been one of the finest broadcast journalists, not just on British television, but on television around the world.

“His compassionate, eye witness reporting and expert field presentation has earned him the respect of colleagues and viewers alike.

“I very much hope that Mark will work on future programmes with ITV.”

Mark started his career as a general reporter on the Bournemouth Evening Echo before joining the BBC as a newsroom writer, later becoming one of the youngest national reporters appointed by BBC News, aged just 24.

Ends

ITV Evening News airs each weeknight at 6.30pm.
Mark’s thirtieth anniversary at ITV News is on Friday 28
th October.

For more information please contact:

Laura Brander, Head of Communications, ITV News

020 7430 4108 or laura.brander@itn.co.uk  

 

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