Local 8 News anchor and sports producer
As a child, I always dreamed of being a sportscaster.
That dream became a reality at Hurst L.D. Bell High School in Texas, where I hosted a weekly sports show in the Dallas/Ft. Worth area, "Sports Update with Mark Packer." That position led to play-by-play duties at high school football playoff games at Texas Stadium, home of the Dallas Cowboys.
From there, I moved on to college at Texas Christian University. As a Radio-TV-Film major, I continued to hone my skills while interning at KXAS-TV.
After graduating in May, 1991, I landed my first on air job in January of 1992 at KMID-TV in Midland/Odessa, Texas. During this time, I covered the famed Odessa Permian Panthers, the football team highlighted in the movie, "Friday Night Lights."
In August, 1996, I moved on to WBIR in Knoxville. After three years as the weekend sports anchor, I was promoted to Sports Director. During this time, I was voted "Best Sportscaster" in East Tennessee by the readers of the Knoxville News Sentinel 5 consecutive years.
But, in August of 2004, I decided I needed a new challenge, so I formed my own production company, "Pack-Man's Sports Productions." A regional, Southeastern Conference football show was seen in almost 5 million homes in 11 states. But, my love for East Tennessee shifted my focus back to the local market.
In January of 2005, I accepted the position of news anchor for WVLT's FIRST at FOUR. I also am a part of the largest sports department in the Knoxville market, Sports Overtime.
But it's the fall when viewers will really see what brought me back to the local airwaves.
"The Locker Room presented by Parkwest Medical Center" is my Sunday night sports talk show will partner me with GoVolsXtra.com and former UT players. The show will be statewide this fall in the Knoxville, Nashville, Chattanooga and Tri-Cities Sundays at 11 p.m. (10 p.m. Central). I also host the first high school sports show in East Tennessee, "Pilot's High School Heroes," where we talk to local players and coaches. You can see that show on MyVLT2 Thursdays at 10 p.m.
I currently live in West Knoxville with my wife Dee Dee and three daughters: Hillary, Blakelee and Presley.