March 19, 2014 "Marked" a major milestone within the WAFF-48 family.
News Anchor Mark Thornhill celebrated his 30th year in television journalism on that date. Among the many offering well-wishes is sister-station WSFA, where Mark worked as a sports anchor. WSFA tweeted Wednesday afternoon, "We remember Mark well. Congrats on his 30th year in the biz!"
Facebook fan Dixie W. said one of her favorite memories watching Mark was when he carried the Olympic torch in 1996. "That was an exciting evening!" she recalled.
Mark was surprised Wednesday with a cake from his newsroom colleagues. We recorded the event, which you can watch here, plus we've included a few brief clips from the WAFF 48 archives.
The man himself had something to say to all the viewers who have been with him through all stages of his career:
First of all, let me just say I'm extremely humbled by your response to my milestone of 30 years in the TV News business. It means the world to me that so many of you are loyal viewers of WAFF 48 News. That's the reason we do this night in and night out. And without your support, this would never be possible. You inspire us and make us try harder each day.
Time really does fly when you're having fun. And to think that 30 years have passed in a fashion that seems like the blink of an eye might indicate to you just how much I enjoy doing what I do. I also enjoy the people I work with and you, the viewers, who we do this work for. It's truly a labor of love.
The Tennessee Valley has been my home all but 6 years of my life. I am extremely grateful for you allowing us into your home on a nightly basis via the TV. And I can assure you all of us here continue to take that responsibility and privilege quite seriously. And you're the reason I will continue to do this job as long as I'm able.
Thank you all so much for your kind words and your continued support. -Mark Thornhill