The Herald celebrates 25 years of On The Mark, one which NTV’s Director of News & Current Affairs Mark Dwyer holds near and dear to his heart
The sports world looked much different when Mark Dwyer penned his first ‘On the Mark’ column for The Evening Telegram in 1996.
Mario Lemieux was the NHL’s scoring champ, Tiger Woods was turning pro and Derek Jeter was the AL’s rookie of the year. Locally, St. John’s native John Slaney was toiling on the blue line with Wayne Gretzky’s Los Angeles Kings, while rookie Darren Langdon was fighting to make a name for himself with the New York Rangers.
Much, and little, has changed for Dwyer over the past 25 years.
He continues to celebrate the province’s top athletic talent each week, turning that newspaper column into perhaps the longest-running sports feature in the province’s history.
On the mark
“I’m so grateful for this feature. I have so much respect for our athletes and they deserve the recognition,” says Dwyer. “To be able to show their accomplishments is perhaps the greatest part of this job.”
He’s interviewed some of the world’s top athletes – hockey legends like Orr, Gretzky, Roy, Dryden, Henderson, baseball greats like Alomar and played a little on-on-one with NBA star Danny Granger.
More importantly, he’s shone the spotlight on our own. If an athlete from this province accomplished a feat, it’s almost certain Dwyer profiled their triumphs and rise to the top. In many cases, our first introduction to these athletes was through Dwyer’s profiles – such as the television debut of 10-year-old Teddy Purcell, who would go on to a celebrated NHL career. Dwyer earned the respect of these young athletes, many of who go on to professional careers, so lifelong relationships have been forged.
When Dwyer calls – athletes answer. His friendly, non-confrontational and balanced approach to reporting has been his calling card and has helped him earned trust and admiration. This was evident at the 2014 American Hockey League Hall of Fame induction ceremonies in St. John’s when Slaney singled out Dwyer as the media figure he respected most. High praise indeed.
Mark Dwyer’s filed over 1,000 stories for NTV, and is showing no signs of slowing down.