Mark S. Allen publicly resigned from his job as anchor/reporter on morning show “Good Day Sacramento” on Friday – three months after his second DUI arrest.
Allen, appearing slightly choked up as he stood before a backdrop of the state Capitol, apologized for his Dec. 4 driving under the influence arrest in Roseville. His first arrest happened in 2006 at Sacramento International Airport.
At the time of the 2006 arrest, “I didn’t consider alcohol to be a problem in my life,” Allen said. “But it became a problem.”
Allen apologized to “the community, my friends and family and station management,” and he said he was “committed to making a fresh start” and had completed a monthlong program that has helped him “achieve and maintain sobriety.”
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Allen then announced he would be leaving “Good Day.” “I feel it is best to make a clean break right now and focus my time and energy on taking care of myself and my family,” he said.
CBS-owned Channel 31 (KMAX) removed Allen from the air in December, following the arrest in Roseville. “We are investigating what happened,” “Good Day Sacramento” news director John Armand said in a statement in December. “While that process is ongoing, Mark will not be appearing on-air.”
His resignation on Friday was “mutually agreed upon” with the station, Allen told The Sacramento Bee.
Allen, whose real name is Mark Allen Stell, was arrested on suspicion of DUI in the early morning hours of Dec. 4 in Roseville, after motorists reported a car being driven erratically in the area of Interstate 80 and Atlantic Street. Allen, a Roseville resident, was booked into Placer County jail.
Allen, 50, later appeared in court and pleaded no contest. He is thankful “no one was hurt that night, and there wasn’t an accident,” Allen told The Bee.
He will pay a penalty of “thousands and thousands of dollars,” Allen said. He was placed on probation for four years. His sentence also includes electronic monitoring and 18 months of DUI classes, Allen said.
He is now more than 90 days sober, Allen said.
Allen previously was arrested on suspicion of DUI in 2006, after being pulled over by Sacramento County sheriff’s deputies at Sacramento International Airport. He was sentenced to three years of probation and 48 hours of community service.
Known for his upbeat demeanor, movie-star interviews and for being game for just about any on-camera stunt – he swam between bridges in the San Francisco Bay and scarfed pumpkin pie in a contest featuring competitive eater Joey Chestnut – Allen was just shy of his 20-year anniversary with “Good Day” when he was arrested.
Allen, who last year was voted “best reason to watch local TV” by Sacramento News & Review readers, also hosted a weekly movie-review and interview show called “Mark at the Movies” that aired locally on KMAX and nationally on ReelzChannel. He appeared weekday afternoons on Sacramento pop music station 100.5 FM (KZZO).
“Mark at the Movies” and the radio gig were tied to his CBS employment and fall under the umbrella of his resignation.
Allen, who in the 1990s hosted the Comedy Central show “Short Attention Span Theater,” said he is pursuing a few national broadcast opportunities but would like to stay in the Sacramento region.
He is scheduled to be the featured speaker Friday evening at a film industry mixer at the El Dorado County Fairgrounds in Placerville. The event, put on by the El Dorado County Lake Tahoe Film and Media Office, runs 4-8 p.m. and is open to the public.