Sacramento Morning Anchor Talks About DUI Arrest and His Career

By Kevin Eck 

After his second DUI, Mark S.Allen made what he said was a “clean break” and quit the morning show on Sacramento CBS-owned CW affiliate KMAX.

The second DUI “was arrogant (and) it was stupid, to say the least,” Allen told the Sacramento Bee at the El Dorado County film office’s annual mixer. “I will do everything I can to make sure it certainly won’t happen with me again. And I’ll do everything to make sure that people know drinking and driving is bad.”

Allen, who is one of the most popular on-air personalities in Sacramento, spent 12 days in the South Placer Jail as part of his sentence and has also completed a 30-day rehab program.

“The real story is that people are victims of drunk driving accidents all the time,” said Allen. “It pales in comparison to the suffering of people who have been victims of drunk-driving accidents.”

“He is probably the biggest figure in Sacramento media,” said Howard Burd, who worked in ad sales at KMAX in the late 90s. “Everybody can get their news on local stations, but the difference is Mark’s personality.”

Allen talked to the The Bee about what it’s like to take a break and what’s next in his career.

“It’s the first time in 20 years I have stepped back to take a breath and figure out what I want to do,” Allen said. “Obviously, I want to keep a roof over my family’s head. But maybe to do so without the 14-hour days would be great.”

Allen said he would like to stay in the Sacramento region, where his children have grown up, and where he has “deep roots.”

He said he misses his “Good Day” colleagues, but that he’s spent more quality time with them since he left the show than when he was on it, because he was so busy then. Though KMAX management did not respond to The Bee’s requests for comment regarding Allen’s resignation, his “Good Day” news director, John Armand, was in the audience for the Placerville event.

What Allen misses more acutely is the “spontaneity” of being live on air.

“Someday, if Sacramento forgives me and would have me back, I would love to be on local TV again,” he said.