Name: Mark Wilson
Degree: Bachelor’s in Media Communication Studies
Graduation Year: 1991
Hometown: St. Petersburg, FL
Current City: Tampa/St. Petersburg, FL
Job: Primary Evening News Anchor, WTVT Fox13 Television
Who do you admire and why?
I’ve always admired veterans & first responders for their sacrifices, my wife for waging a courageous battle against Crohns while still managing to be a supermom and I also admire my mother & father, for both leading successful careers, raising three boys & celebrating this year their 50th wedding anniversary. They’ve shown me the power of love, faith & forgiveness and that you make a living by what you get but a life by what you give.
What Jeopardy category could you clear, no problem?
80’s hair metal bands
Twizzlers twists. Strawberry works, but cherry rocks.
Best account to follow on social media?
For me to follow? My daughters’. It’s a crazy world out there. For everyone else to follow? Mine, of course… @MarkWilsonTV.
Best piece of advice you’ve received?
Dream big, but remember dreams don’t work unless you do. And don’t forget to enjoy the ride. Success on a personal and professional level, will always be a journey. Not a destination.
Tell us about your job:
I anchor the 6 & 10pm primary evening newscasts at WTVT Fox13 Television in the Tampa Bay area and this year I celebrate my 20th year here. I’m a modern day story teller, but my reports have taken me across the nation and across the globe sharing the news of the day and it’s impact on our local viewers. I’m honored to have Emmy Awards for my reporting and anchoring with career highlights being an exclusive interview with President Obama in the White House in 2008 and reporting from the front lines of the war in Iraq embedded with a U.S. Army Blackhawk helicopter unit in Baghdad. I always enjoy meeting amazing people and sharing their stories and have found a way to have a little fun along the way as well by flying in an F-16 with the USAF Thunderbirds, driving the monster truck Gravedigger and even starting an Indy race riding along with the legendary Mario Andretti.
What does your average day look like?
Since I work in the afternoon and evenings, my mornings are at home and once I finish my honey-do list, I’m online checking on current events. By 3pm, I usually go straight to the studio to start taping teases or promotional clips for the evenings news, then I spend the next couple hours helping assemble and write our top-rated hour-long 6pm news. Unless there is breaking news, I usually get time to run home and spend valuable dinner time with my family, but then it’s quickly back to the station to write and re-write stories for our hour-long 10pm newscast. Sometimes there are long days but the constantly evolving news of the day keeps it fresh I’m honored to be a part of a great team of journalists.
How did your education prepare you for your career?
Had many inspiring teachers (Barry Soloman, & Chuck Sawyer at FSU and Judy Jolly at TCC) and they all helped prepare me for a tough communications world. They empowered me with writing and production skills that helped me stand out when I got started and they always stressed the importance of making my own mark in the world, compassionately & ethically.
How has working in your industry changed the way you look at the world?
Traveling abroad for stories has made me realize we are one world, one planet, one people. It’s also a much smaller world we live in today with the advent of social media.
Who do you look to for inspiration?
My kids. The good they see in the world and their dreams they’re chasing. They make me wanna make the world that much better of a place.
How do you handle work-life balance?
Work hard, play harder. You must stop sawing every now and then and sharpen that sword.
What advice would you give yourself in college?
Oh boy. That the Late Night Library will be there tomorrow night. And hunker down on Algebra. Get it right the first time. So there doesn’t have to be a third. I’d also remind myself that you’ll be remembered by how you made others around you feel. Give more of your time to the people you surround yourself with. Relationships mean everything.