Mark Austin to leave ITV News after 30 years

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Mark Austin has announced he is to leave ITV News after 30-years.

“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,” said Austin

“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.”

Austin started his career in the media as a general reporter on the Bournemouth Daily Echo (1976–1980), before joining the BBC as a newsroom writer, becoming a general news reporter in 1982. He was made a sports reporter in 1985.

Austin joined ITN in October 1986 as Sports Correspondent. He was given his first assignment on day one – to cover England’s successful Ashes tour of Australia, as well as the America’s Cup. He stayed in Australia for four months and during this time unexpectedly found himself reporting on the “Spycatcher” trial.

Mark’s first major event as a fully fledged foreign correspondent was the Gulf War when he was one of the first UK journalists to report from the region after the Iraqi invasion of Kuwait. During early 1991 he was in based Bahrain, the base for many of the Tornado squadrons, and filed many reports on the progress of the war effort.

In 1993 he was appointed as ITV News Asia Correspondent based in Hong Kong where he stayed for only a year before becoming Africa Correspondent (1994-95). His time in Johannesburg allowed him to report on several historic events including Nelson Mandela’s election to the South African presidency and the genocide in Rwanda. His coverage of the crisis in Bosnia in 1995 won him and Paul Davies a joint Gold Medal at the 1996 Film & Television Festival of New York. In 1996, Mark returned to Hong Kong as Asia Correspondent, covering the handover of sovereignty to the Chinese, before returning to ITV headquarters in London in 1998.

Mark’s reporting of the Kosovan war from the Albanian border was part of ITV News’ coverage which received a Gold Nymph at the 1999 Television Festival of Monte Carlo. His reporting of the Mozambique floods in 2000 received an International Emmy award as well as a Gold Nymph at the 2000 Television Festival of Monte Carlo and Gold and Silver Medals at the New York Television Programming Awards.

Since taking on the role of a news presenter rather than a correspondent in recent years, Mark has often been called upon to report and anchor programs from on location – namely the United States, Afghanistan, Kuwait, Iraq, Spain, France, Thailand, Indonesia, Sri Lanka.

“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.

Last updated: Wednesday 26 October 2016

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