Channel 41 anchorman Mark Clegg resigns for job in Houston

07/01/2014 5:31 PM

07/02/2014 9:49 AM

Mark Clegg, evening co-anchor for KSHB, Channel 41, will leave the station later this month to take a non-TV job in Houston.

Clegg, 51, who joined KSHB in late 2002, will become director of media relations and communications for Hines, an international real estate and development firm headquartered there.

Why Houston? Clegg’s two sons live there, for one thing. One is about to start high school; the other will soon start college in Austin. And his parents are in the Dallas-Fort Worth area, where Clegg went to high school.

His sons moved to Houston seven or eight years ago with his ex-wife.

“Since then I’ve been commuting every other weekend to be with the kids,” Clegg told The Star. The last couple of years, he started contemplating “How can we all get back in the same city again?”

The job at Hines “was something that presented itself,” he said, and seems to be “best for both career and family.”

Not that leaving here will be easy.

“I thought this might be a stop on the way, but I immediately fell in love with Kansas City,” he said. “I really thought this might be my home for the rest of my life. It’s been a real bittersweet choice to make this move, but I think it’s going to be really good.”

Clegg will miss his on-air family — “We do genuinely like each other and care about one another” — and KSHB’s viewers, who are like “an extension of family.”

His job at Hines will allow him to take his skills from 27 years in the media to “work on the other side of the camera, so to speak.” He noted that Hines developed H&R Block’s headquarters in downtown Kansas City.

Clegg went to college in Texas, and he worked in TV in Dallas-Fort Worth (at two stations) and in Wichita Falls and Beaumont, Texas. He came to Kansas City from a station in Indianapolis.

His last newscast will be the 6 p.m. edition of “41 Action News” July 23.

Of late Clegg has been co-anchoring the 4, 5 and 10 p.m. weeknight newscasts with Christa Dubill and the 6 p.m. with Jadiann Thompson. The early-evening shows in particular have been enjoying ratings success: KSHB’s 6 p.m. newscast has finished No. 1 the last three sweeps periods.

Clegg’s exodus could change that. There’s no obvious male anchor-in-waiting at KSHB.

News director Carrie Hofmann said the station is conducting a national search for a replacement.

“We are excited for Mark and his new adventure,” Hofmann said by email. “He has spent the past 12 years dedicated to this station and this community. He will be missed.”

Elizabeth Alex, who anchored with Clegg more than 10 years before she left KSHB in early 2013, called him “a great newsman and an even more extraordinary human being.”

She added: “He’s a dear, dear friend, and I think it’s a loss for Kansas City news viewers for sure, because he’s such a smart and thoughtful news person.”

Alex had been anchoring solo when she was paired with Clegg. It turned out to be a great match from the beginning, she said.

Sometimes on news sets there are “situations where a co-anchor tries to ‘bigfoot’ the other one,” Alex said. But Clegg “was always a team player, and it made it so wonderful to work with him, whether it was election night or breaking news or on a regular news day.”

Clegg is a 2004 graduate of Leadership Overland Park and a member of Church of the Resurrection in Leawood. He has served on the board of Rose Brooks Center, a domestic violence shelter. He has also given his time to Literacy Kansas City, Higher MPact and the ALS Association — Keith Worthington Chapter, among other organizations.

To reach Tim Engle, call 816-234-4779 or send email to tengle@kcstar.com. On Twitter: @tim_engle

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