Mark Freund

Mark Freund joined the Channel 13 sports team in January of 2019, following a five-year stint at KTIV-TV, the NBC affiliate in Sioux City, Iowa. Mark started in news at KTIV before enjoying a four-plus year run as the weekend sports anchor. During his time in Sioux City, Mark covered sports four NAIA colleges, an NCAA Division-II and Division-III school, as well as Division-I South Dakota. In addition to the college sports, Mark spent the majority of his time criss-crossing the highways and back-roads of northwest Iowa, northeast Nebraska and southeast South Dakota, covering hundreds of high school games in the Siouxland area. He even covered Super Bowl LII in his home state of Minnesota.

Prior to starting his professional career, Mark spent four years learning the television ropes at Marquette University in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, graduating with a degree in broadcast and electronic communication in 2013. He served as assistant sports director and sports director for the campus television station, MUTV, his junior and senior years. Mark also completed internships at KTTC-TV in Rochester, Minnesota and WDJT in Milwaukee.

A Rochester, Minnesota native, Mark is an avid Twins fan, and enjoys Gopher basketball games, but that’s where his Minnesota sports allegiances end. Mark is a fan of the Chicago Bears, his alma mater, Marquette, and his sister’s alma mater, Wake Forest.

In his spare time, Mark enjoys running, disc golf, and brewery-browsing. He’s also a notorious professional wrestling fan. 

Mark has claimed awards from the Iowa Broadcast News Association and Midwest Broadcast Journalists Association, and has been on teams that have won Upper Midwest Emmys. He’s excited to cover central Iowa sports, and welcomes all story ideas. You can reach him at mark.freund@who13.com or on Twitter @MarkFreundTV.

13 Fascinating Facts

  • Despite my love of sports, I gave up on team sports early. I quit basketball after my freshman year of high school. I was a good shooter, but I was a better runner, so I gave up hoops to train year-round, and focus on cross country and track.
  • I ran my first and only marathon as a freshman in college, then took a long hiatus away from running. I got motivated to start back up in 2018, fell in love with it again, and have run three half-marathons since. Numbers four and five will come in fall of 2020.
  • Growing up, we had a pet rabbit. His name was Snowy. He lived nearly 12 years. I think that’s pretty good for a rabbit.
  • I got bit by a poodle when I was a toddler. Who gets bit by a POODLE?
  • I have a tattoo on my left shoulder blade. It’s a family tribute in the form of those ABC blocks you probably played with as a kid. It’s a long story. I have ideas of other tattoos I’d like to get, eventually.
  • I’m a huge professional wrestling fan. I’ve been to nearly 20 WWE shows in my life, and several more from other promotions. Three of my favorite wrestlers are Kofi Kingston and Edge (from WWE) and MJF (from AEW).
  • My favorite sport to watch is college basketball. I keep a log of all the Division-I basketball games I’ve ever attended. On winter trips, I try to make it to at least one venue I’ve never been before. I’m currently sitting at 134 games, at 30 different venues.
  • I might be a little bit addicted to Chapstick. I always have one (or multiple) on me, but I’m not sure I’ve ever actually finished one because I always end up losing them.
  • My favorite TV show of all time is Friends. I’m that annoying guy that will quote the entire episode while I watch it. I’ve seen every episode way too many times to count, and I of course own all 10 seasons.
  • I’ve had the name of my first-born son picked out for years, and am weirdly unwilling to budge. My future wife will just have to deal with it! She can name the second one.
  • I’m a craft beer fan – I’m fascinated by the tastes and colors of different beers, and methods of beer-making. My favorite types of beer are ambers and hazy IPAs, but I’ll drink just about anything, especially a cold Miller Lite.
  • Prior to starting my television career, I worked at a flower shop (cleaning and maintenance before graduating to delivery) and multiple bars/restaurants as a server and bartender.
  • My favorite sports moment of all time was when Torii Hunter, my favorite baseball player ever, robbed Barry Bonds of a home run in the 2002 MLB All-Star Game. Like many, I’m still angry that the game ended in a tie.

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